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Oil & Gas

DPR seals 8 filling stations, others in Ondo, Ekiti

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has sealed eight erring fuel and gas stations in Ondo and Ekiti states over alleged sharp practices and other various offences.

Mr Adewale Oseni, the Operations Controller of DPR, Akure field office, disclosed this to newsmen on Thursday in Akure at the end of a two-day surveillance tour of DPR to filling stations in the two states.

He said the offences bordered on non approval of gas skids from the agency, operating without valid license, operating without safety equipment and under-dispensing of the petroleum products to unsuspecting customers.

According to him, by such action, the stations concerned had made consumers to pay more for smaller quantities.

The operations controller said the agency embarked on inspection and surveillance tour to enforce compliance with the regulations of the agency and protect unsuspecting consumers from sharp practices by petroleum product dealers.

Oseni said apart from this, some of the filling stations were also shut for failure to comply with the safety regulations.

The operation controller, who said that it was illegal for filling stations to operate without safety equipment, said the sealed stations would not be allowed to dispense petrol until they pay fines.

“The surveillance and monitoring activities were carried out to ensure that the retail outlet stations operate with valid DPR license, not under-dispensing, and to ensure they operate under safe conditions.

“In Ondo, we visited four gas plants, three refilling stations and one illegal. Out of the three refilling plants, two were operating without valid license and they were sealed.

“We also observed some safety issues in another other sealed ones and we expect them to put in place all those safety equipment missing.

 

“They will have to re-arrange their house before allowed to operate again.

“We also visited some retail outlets some of which are doing very fine, and the pump efficiency is very good.

“However, some of them did not have sand bucket or fire extinguisher and this serious safety issue.

“We don’t expect such petrol stations to continue to operate, so they were sealed and we are expecting that other order to remain in force until they put in place the safety measures and functional safety equipment, they will not be unsealed.

“Most importantly, we noticed a station where one of the trucks was discharging without any regard for safety by the dealer.

“They started discharging immediately the truck parked, instead of allowing for some hours for the product to balance before offloading,” he said.

Oseni said that a gas station was also sealed in Ikere-Ekiti over failure by its dealer to comply with the petroleum and gas regulations by not obtaining storage and sales license

He noted that the station affected had been sealed by DPR in previous operation because the dealer failed to comply with instructions in all the letters issued to it.

“When we got there, we found them selling and we said we would not allow that and we  sealed it for the second time so that they will adhere to the rules and regulations.

“The affected gas station had been warned earlier, but its dealer did not heed the warning.

“What they have done is punishable under the law, so they will be made to bear the full weight of the law.

“DPR is the watchdog in the oil and gas industry and we shall continue to be the leading regulator, to ensure that Nigeria oil and gas industry remain safe.

“We will also continue to protect the investors and the consumers as well as the general Nigerian populace using petroleum products in the country.

GSD/MA/DUA
Edited by Muftau Adediran/Dada Ahmed

Segun Giwa: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Oil & Gas

NCDMB to clamp down on illegal deployment of expatriates in oil, gas sector

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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) says it is intensifying efforts to monitor and evaluate activities toward identifying operators involved in illegal deployment of expatriates in the oil and gas sector.

The NCDMB, in a statement issued on its Twitter account on Tuesday and obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos, warned that erring operators would receive appropriate sanctions.

NCDMB will intensify monitoring and evaluation activities to identify companies violating the statutory provisions of the DPR manpower supply permits and perpetuating illegal expatriate deployments.&

“This is with a view to invoking appropriate sanctions and penalties as specified in the Immigration Act, 2015 and Immigration Regulation, 2017 as well as the NOGID Act,’’ it said.

The statement said the Ministry of Interior and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), had been notified of the illegal use of the Statutory Oil and Gas Industry Service Permits issued by the DPR.

It explained that the permits were issued to supply “Nigerian professionals only” and not to be used by operators and contractors to supply expatriates to the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The statement said: “The permits clearly indicate that they are not to be used to deploy expatriates under any circumstance or guise.

“It is also disturbing that operators and major service providers promote this illegal practice by entering into contract agreements with these manpower supply companies to source expatriates for positions which in several cases had been earmarked to be occupied by Nigerians.”

According to the statement, the practice circumvents laid down statutory approval processes and compliance with requirements for obtaining expatriate quota positions.

It therefore warned the companies to henceforth ensure that no expatriates were deployed under such manpower supply contracts under any guise.

The statement said companies seeking to engage expatriates in the sector must ensure that they obtained the relevant approvals from NCDMB.

It said thereafter such companies should apply for expatriate quota and temporary work permit or other entry permits from the interior ministry and Nigeria Immigration Service.

It added that companies deploying expatriates in the industry must ensure full compliance with the guidelines and requirements of the ministry of interior and NCDMB.

It listed the guidelines to include registration with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Joint Qualification System (NOGICJQS) as well as biometrics enrolment of all expatriate personnel in their employment.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Economy

Filling stations in Lafia still sell petrol at old price – NAN survey

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Filling Stations in Lafia, Nasarawa state are still selling petrol at the old price in spite of the downward review of ex-depot price of the product from N113. 28k per litre to N108. 00K by the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC).

A Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria , who visited some filling stations in Lafia on Saturday, reports that petrol still sells for N125.

The filling stations visited by NAN Correspondent include Sandaji, Total, Mobile, Shafa, Popsy and Nagoda filling stations all in Lafia.

NAN reports that the ex-depot price is the price at which the depot owners sell the products to independent marketers.

The marketers are then expected to sell the product above the purchased price, by about N9 per litre.

When contacted on the development, Abubakar Usman-Sandaji, Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in the state, explained that the reduction was in the price of petrol at the depot.

The IPMAN chairman, who is the owner of Sandaji filling station further said that the price reduction was in lifting petrol as being sold to private depot by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and not a reduction in the pump price.

According to him, most marketers prefer to buy at the private depots at a higher price due to the delay encountered in lifting the product at the NNPC depot.

“The petrol we are selling was bought at N113 per litre from private depots.

“So, when you add money for diesel, allowances for drivers, and other expenses, it would be around N120.

“So, we sell at N125 per litre to get a little profit to enable us pay our staff and maintain other facilities so as to continue to be in business,” the chairman added.

Usman-Sandaji urged the government to always consult widely with the marketers and other stakeholders before reducing the price of the product.

He then called for total deregulation of the sector, saying it was one of the major solutions to the perennial problems in the business of petroleum products in the country.

When contacted, Mr Abdulraham Mohammed, Operations Controller, Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Lafia Field Office, gave an assurance that the office would soon go round for enforcement of the new directive.

The controller explained that DPR’s   activities were being slowed down by the effects of the prevalence of the coronavirus pandemic, one of which, he said, is the directive by the government that staff from level 1-12 should work from home.

He, however, said that as from next week, the enforcement team would go out to ensure compliance with the new price regime provided by the government.

Mohammed, therefore, called on owners of filling stations in the state to always adhere to directives as they relate to the prices of petroleum products to avoid any face off. .

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: DPR urges filling stations to take precautionary measures

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Osogbo field office has urged petroleum marketers in the state to always take precautionary measures against coronavirus while dealing with motorists at filling stations.

Mr Olusegun Daboh, DPR Operations Controller, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Osogbo.

Daboh said since petrol attendants would be dealing with different kinds of motorists, there was need for marketers to ensure that social distance was maintained.

He said that the use of face masks should also be made compulsory for all the petrol attendants, to help in minimising the spread of the virus in the state.

Daboh said the agency would soon embark on sensitisation programme to filling stations in the state on the importance of face masks and other precautionary measures against the virus.

He emphasised on the need to make hand sanitisers available for petrol attendants at the filing stations.

The operations controller said that since the attendants would be touching money frequently, there was the need for them to continually sanitise their hands against the virus.

Daboh said the agency would continue to support the marketers in the state on the fight against the virus at the filling stations.

He, however, warned against under-dispensing of product, vowing that any marketer caught would be dealt with according to the law.

Edited By: Folasade Adeniran/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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General news

Lockdown: DPR distributes food items to religious groups, journalists in Ogun

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Abeokuta Field Office, on Sunday distributed food items to religious stakeholders and journalists in Ogun, as part of efforts to cushion the effects of lockdown.

The Operations Controller, Mrs Muinat Bello-Zagi, represented by Head, Downstream, DPR Abeokuta, Rotimi Fadeyi, handed over the food items to the leadership of mosques, churches and media houses for onward distribution in Abeokuta

Bello-Zagi said that the gesture was meant to assist journalists who were at frontline of the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and the vulnerable groups in the state.

She, however, urged stakeholders to create an organic food garden in their houses to avert impending hunger.

Bello-Zagi advised residents to adhere strictly to all measures in containing the spread of the virus by staying at home, observe physical distancing, use of face masks and proper hand washing.

“We would also like to urge our stakeholders and people in general to look inwards by having organic food garden in their houses or in their vicinity to ensure abundance of food.

“We have started this in our office here in Abeokuta and we want people to imbibe this culture.

“This is to avert impending hunger that may occur in the country after the coronavirus pandemic,” she said.

In her remark, Mrs Funmi Wakama, the General Manager, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Abeokuta, applauded DPR for giving palliatives to journalists, who, were often forgotten by the public.

“We are at the frontline of the battle against COVID-19 but people tend to forget us.

‘“We educate people on prevention. Honestly, people forget us, thinking we are doing our jobs.

“So, we thank DPR for coming to our aid.

“We are going to distribute these food items to our staff who have been at the frontline reporting COVID-19 and educating the public,” she said.

Responding, the Deputy Imam at Okebode Mosque, Abeokuta, Abdulhakeem Alabi and Pastor Babakemi Victor, said the DPR donation of food items was unexpected.

They, however, said that it would go a long way in helping their members and promised to share and use it judiciously.

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

 

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Oil & Gas

Bayelsa Govt to seek review of revocation of OML 46 oilfields licence

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The Bayelsa Government will seek the review of the revocation of its Oil Mining Licences (OML) for 46 oilfields by the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

Mr Daniel Alabra, Acting Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Duoye Diri, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Saturday.

He said that the state government was already studying the revocation order with the intention of seeking a review.

NAN reports that the OML 46 asset held by Bayelsa government located within onshore swamps in Bayelsa was won in 2013 through a bidding process conducted by the DPR.

Meanwhile, the DPR on April 6, announced the revocation of 11 of the 13 marginal fields licenses it issued to indigenous oil firms to build capacity and promote Nigerians’ participation in the oil sector.

Alabra further stated that the state was concerned about the revocation and would take steps to reverse it.

The governor’s spokesman said that the DPR’s decision revoking the licences was most erroneous because the asset had been developed to the point of test production.

“The governor is already being briefed on the matter, he is taking a holistic view in order to arrive at an informed decision.

“The Bayelsa government holds 40 per cent equity in the oil block along with other investors who operate the field, the state does not run the oil business on a day to day basis,” he said.

The chief press secretary expressed the Diri-led administration’s commitment to ensure the development of the oil fields.

“We are hopeful that oil price will rebound, Bayelsa will retain its interests in Atala fields, this investment is well thought out and not misplaced.

“As a government, we are adopting an economic strategy that will shield the state from the shock of low oil prices,” he said. 

Edited By: Azubuike Okeh/Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

 

 

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General news

DPR sanctions 15 filling stations in Bauchi over breach of safety rules

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The Bauchi office of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said it had sanctioned no fewer than 15 filling stations for failure to comply with safety regulations.

Malam Abdullahi Iliyasu, the DPR Operations Controller stated this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency   on Thursday in Bauchi.

He said the deployment of safety facilities at Filling Stations  like fire extinguishers, sand buckets and other relevant safety instruments, was mandatory, adding that failure to provide same attracted sanctions.

He said the affected filling stations were compelled to provide the safety measures, apart from the fines they were made to pay for default, saying  that the department would no longer condone violation of safety rules in the industry.

Meanwhile, Iliyasu said all the 600 existing filling stations in the state had since complied with the current  pump price of N125 per liter of premium motor spirit.

He explained that a recent directive from the Petroleum Product  Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA ) had mandated filling stations to sell the commodity at either N125 or  N123.5 per litre owing to the global fall in prices of petroleum products.

According to him, DPR has achieved 100 per cent compliance level on the new price of the commodity, adding that the cooperation of Independent Petroleum Marketers towards ensuring the implementation  of the new pump price, is commendable.

He said Bauchi  received its supplies from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC)  Depot in Gombe, adding that the operations of lifting the commodity had been smooth.

Edited By: Martins Odeh
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

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Defence/Security

Gov. Zulum to establish 4 mega stations to improve fuel supply in Borno

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Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has unveiled plans by the state government to establish four mega filling stations to enhance fuel supply in the state.

Zulum disclosed this on  Saturday in Maiduguri when the Zonal Operation Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) Northeast, Mr Ibrahim Ciroma, with some stakeholders in the oil business paid him a courtesy call.

The stakeholders included members of Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) and the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO).

Zulum said the stations, when established, would complement the efforts of oil marketers as well as boost distribution and availability of products to meet local demands of the growing population in the state.

He assured that his administration would do everything possible to protect the rights of citizens and improve their well-being.

The governor frowned at what he described as “economic sabotage” by some unpatriotic oil marketers in the state who always exploited citizens by hoarding fuel to cause artificial scarcity and hardship.

”We know the Borno State Government is not responsible for regulation of petroleum products marketers but then, we have our tool under the Land Use Act of 1978.

“That Act has empowered the state government to not only own land but ensure legitimate use of such based on best practices.

“Exploiting citizens is certainly not a legitimate use of land in Borno state and we cannot fold our arms as government.

“We have given some directives to revisit the land ownership status of some filling stations because of their practices that are not in compliance with DPR’s regulations, and we will not hesitate to take measures that will be in the overall interest of the public,” he threatened.

The governor expressed willingness to work with all marketers and other stakeholders across the state to ensure adequate supply of products based on fair trade.

“We will talk to the GMD to make the product available in the state, especially in times like this due to the COVID-19 lockdown,” he said.

Zulum however commended efforts of the DPR’s regional office in Maiduguri for trying to enforce best practices amongst marketers.

Earlier speaking, Ciroma attributed the hiccups which resulted to long queues in some filling stations in Maiduguri to drop in supplies as well as the inter-state lockdown across the country which affected smooth access of trucks to Maiduguri.

He said the DPR had summoned meetings with oil marketers with a view to making products available in the state.

The Chairman, Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC) Mr Nasir Gaji, said efforts were already in place to supply 98 trucks of fuel to the state.

“Already we have 10 loaded from Gombe as part of the effort to make the product available in the state,” he said.

On his part, Alhaji Mohammed Kuluwu, the Borno Chairman of IPMAN, attributed the scarcity to unwillingness of some marketers to lift the product following the dwindling price.

He urged the government to come up with strategies of addressing the problems.

Edited By: Ugboma Chioma/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Oil & Gas

Lockdown: DPR wants Niger Govt. to extend time for motorists to purchase fuel

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), in Niger has appealed to the State Government to extend the approved daily operational deadline given petroleum products marketers to sell fuel to motorists in the state.

 

Alhaji Abdullahi Jankara, Operations Controller of DPR in the state made the appeal during an interview with Nigeria News Agency in Minna on Friday.

 

“We have written to the Niger state government to increase the time allowed by motorists and other people to purchase fuel daily.

 

“The reason is to enable the DPR to monitor activities at the petrol stations effectively and avoid overcrowding to prevent Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19),” he said.

 

Jankara said that petroleum marketers in the state were only allowed to sell products to motorists and other people between the hours of 7am and 10am daily.

 

He said that two weeks into the state government’s movement restriction order, the DPR had reviewed its activities and found out that there was need to extend the approved three hours given to petroleum marketers to operate.

 

“We have been going out to monitor filling stations and we found out that people crowd the various filling stations due to the short time given to the petroleum marketers to operate daily,” he said.

The DPR Controller said that the major oil marketers in Minna had complied with the Federal Government’s directive for reduction of pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) to between N125 and N123.50k against the old prices of between N145 and N143 per litre.

 

“The major oil marketers in Minna have complied with the directive, except for two marketers who we sanctioned and they have since corrected their mistake,” he said.

 

He said that the Department was concentrating its operations within the urban areas of the state until after the restriction order would have been relaxed before they could move into the rural areas.

 

Jankara said that DPR would in no time come up with Smart Inspection with the aid of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to monitor the activities of oil marketers across the country.

 

He said that the measure was to ensure that they complied with the guidelines and regulations of the DPR.

 

NAN recalls that the state governor, Alhaji Abubakar Bello, had on March 23, imposed curfew in the state, forbidding movements between the hours of 8am and 8pm.

 

He noted that the curfew which came into effect on March 25 was part of government’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 pandemic in the state.

 

The Governor, however, relaxed the curfew and shifted the restricted time from 8am to 10 am and until 8pm daily to afford members of public more time to meet their daily needs without clustering together.

Edited By: Kevin Okunzuwa/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

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Economy

Zamfara DPR office cautions public against panic buying

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR)

has cautioned members of the public in Zamfara against panic buying of petroleum products as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Controller, Gusau DPR Field Office, Alhaji Yusuf Shehu gave the advice on Friday during surveillance patrol on filling stations in Gusau, the state capital.

Shehu said the department has the responsibility of monitoring filling stations to ensure that the petroleum products were made available to Nigerians and sold at government official pump price.

“You know since last week, we embarked on monitoring filling stations to ensure compliance to the Federal Government’s directive of new petrol pump price of N123.50.

“We noticed some members of the public embarked on panic buying of the product over fear of scarcity due to COVID-19,” he said.

Shehu urged residents of the state to remain calm, as the Federal Government had made adequate arrangements to provide enough petrol to the public, inspite the COVID-19 challenges.

“l am sure with the arrangement made by govenment, there will be no scarcity of the commodity.

“You know, we are facing COVID-19 challenges globally, which resulted into restriction of movement, inter-state shutdown, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Some members of the public thought this may cause scarcity of the commodity, that is why they embarked on panic buying of the products,” he explained.

Shehu also warned filling stations to shun hoarding practices, saying that anybody found wanting would be dealt with according to the rules and regulations of the department.

The Controller commended filling stations in the state for complying with the government’s directives.

“Based on our records, almost 70 per cent of the stations in the state complied with the directives, while the remaining 30 per cent have exhausted their products,” he said. 

Edited By: Kabir Muhammad/Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

DPR to sanction filling stations exploiting coronavirus situation to hike petroleum product prices

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Borno Zonal Office, has threatened to sanction filling stations exploiting the coronavirus situation to hoard or hike the prices of products in the state.

The DPR Zonal Operation Controller, North-East, Mr Ibrahim Ciroma issued the threat at a news conference in Maiduguri on Thursday.

Ciroma said that some marketers were exploiting the coronavirus concerns to inflate the fuel price and force it on buyers engaged in panic-buying for fear of scarcity.

“When you under dispense for each tank that you have, if you have ten pumps, we will charge N100,000 for each; you will pay N1million.

“If you do it for the second time, we will seal your station for two or three weeks without business.

“And if you persist, we can withdraw our license, and your filling station will no longer be functioning,” he said.

According to him, all DPR staff in the zone have been deployed on surveillance to ensure sales and enforce compliance with the new petrol pump price.

The zonal controller said that the department identified some filling stations that were found to have hoarded products and forced them to reopen and sell to the public.

He explained that only 47 trucks were supplied to Borno and Yobe states in the past one week, a situation which he said was responsible for some of the long queues seen at some filing stations in the metropolis.

According to him, another factor that contributed to the hickups was the inter-state lockdown across the country which affected access of trucks to Maiduguri.

“We have a substantial volume of the product now. People should not panic as we received 23 trucks on Wednesday.

“We are also expecting 10 trucks from Gombe and additional 100 trucks in a few weeks,” he said.

He also said that a channel of communication had been created between DPR, Borno government, and members of the public for smooth flow of information on fuel supply.

Also speaking, Alhaji Mohammed Kuluwu, the Borno Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), attributed the scarcity of the product to the fall in the rate of supply.

“Marketers lost about N900,000 per truck following the reduction of the pump price petrol to N125 per litre.

NAN recalled that Gov. Babagana Umara Zulum had on Tuesday in Maiduguri, stormed some filling stations accused of hoarding fuel, a development that led to the revocation of their Right of Occupancy by the governor.

Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Emmanuel Yashim
(NAN)

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Oil & Gas

Sokoto govt lauds DPR on fuel availability, warns against price hike

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Sokoto State Government on Thursday commended Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) over fuel availability in the state and warned marketers against selling products above regulated price.

Alhaji Chika Umar, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Commerce made the commendation during a visit to Mr Muhammad Makers, DPR’s Field Controller in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi.

Umar said he led government delegation over products scarcity in the last four days and expressed delight with assurance from DPR for improvement in the coming days.

”After monitoring the situation in the metropolis on Thursday, I felt we should return to DPR and expressed appreciation over improved fuel availability in the state ” he said.

The permanent secretary called on marketers to desist from hoarding products and selling above government approved price.

Responding, Makera said that 88 trucks of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS)  were allocated to the state between Monday and Wednesday, so, there was no reason for scarcity.

” On March 30, the state got 35 trucks of PMS, 31 trucks on March 31 and 22 trucks on April 1.

” Out of these figure, on Monday, 24 trucks was for Sokoto, Tuesday, 23 trucks while 19 trucks on Wednesday also for Sokoto township ” Makera said.

He noted that measures were in place to ensure strict compliance as punishments awaits any defaulting marketer.

According to him, DPR has intensified surveillance on fuel stations to ensure  availability in Sokoto and Kebbi.

Makera urged fuel marketers and the general public to adhere to safety guidelines on containing the spread of Coronavirus.

He said that filling stations must ensure customers abide by the social distancing measure while queuing to buy fuel.

He also urged them to provide hand sanitisers and face masks at their stations.

Edited By: Chinyere Bassey and Isaac Ukpoju
(NAN)

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Economy

COVID -19 : NAICOM grants regulatory forbearance to protect insurance policy holders 

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National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has granted some regulatory forbearance, as part of business continuity measures to ensure availability of insurance services and protection of insurance policy holders during the COVID-19 movement restriction.

This is contained in a circular issued by the commission on Wednesday in Lagos.

The circular , dated April 1,  with the reference No:NAICOM/ DPR /CIR/29/2020, titled :Re: Effect Of COVID-19 On Insurance Operations, was signed by Mr Pius Agboola, Director, Policy and Regulation, for the Acting Commissioner for Insurance.

Agboola said the forbearance is in  furtherance to earlier circulars  on  the  above subject  matter, referenced : /27/2020  and   /28/2020, dated  March 24 and 27 respectively.

He explained that all post placement reports, Reinsurance treaties and other related special risk foreign reinsurance documentations due for submission during the pendency of the COVID-19 restrictions were to be submitted when movement restrictions were lifted.

The director said where Approval-In-Principle for the preceding insurance period had been granted, all renewals or extensions of the foreign reinsurance proportions that became due during COVID-19 movement restriction were permitted for renewal on existing basis.

” Where Approval-In-Principle   for   the   foreign   proportion of a  new insurance placement is required during the COVID-19 movement restriction, it shall be treated on the basis of “Use and File” subject to prior exhaustion of in-country capacity.

“For the avoidance of doubt, after utilising available local capacity, the lead insurer is permitted  to  reinsure  the  excess of the risk  offshore  and submit relevant documentations to the commission thereafter,” he said.

Agboola said that all insurance and reinsurance placements shall be done in accordance with other relevant extant insurance laws, regulations and guidelines.

According to him, all submissions to the commission, including hard copies sequel to the above forbearance, shall be done not later than seven days from the end of COVID-19 movement restrictions.

He urged all to be diligent, circumspect and supportive of government in its efforts to tame the COVID-19 panndemic .

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle
(NAN)

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Oil & Gas

New petrol pump price: DPR seals 2 fuel stations in Bayelsa

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The Bayelsa field office of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), on Wednesday, sealed two fuel stations for dispensing petrol above the new pump price of N125 per litre.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that the Federal Government had, on March 18, announced the reduction of the pump price of petrol from N145 to N125 per litre, to reflect the fall in crude oil prices.

NAN also reports that the pump price was, on Tuesday night, further reduced by 1.50k per litre, making the new price to be N123.50 per litre.

The DPR officials in the state, however, said that they had yet to receive directive on the latest review.

Speaking with newsmen after the surveillance exercise, Mr George Ene-Ita, the Operations Controller of DPR, said that while one of the sanctioned stations sold petrol at the old price of N145, the second was shut for grossly under dispensing.

Ene-Ita said that DPR was poised to enforcing the new price of petrol by the Federal Government, which, he said, was aimed at bringing relief to Nigerians, adding that it had intensified surveillance patrols.

He said that the agency was working to ensure the availability of the product despite the lockdown, occasioned by the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, stressing that marketers were being encouraged to maintain safety guidelines.

“We are working hard amidst the current challenges of this time of national emergency, which cuts across international boundaries, to ensure that petrol was available at approved pump prices.

“Our aim is to enforce the price reduction from N145 to N125 per litre, and from our findings, the rate of compliance is quite high in Bayelsa. Our attention is also on checking under-dispensing.

“We sanctioned some stations, where some of their pumps under-dispensed by sealing the erring pumps and allowing the accurate pumps to dispense rather than outright shutdown, to ensure product availability at this crucial time.

“In playing our regulatory roles, we shall not hesitate to wield the big stick by imposing appropriate sanctions on any erring pump, which is a fine of N100,000 per pump,” Ene-Ita said.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro and
(NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Oil & Gas

COVID-19 lockdown: DPR monitors filling stations, warns against hoarding

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Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Tuesday urged oil marketers to ensure distribution of petroleum products even with the stay at home order meant to check Coronavirus spread in the country.

The DPR Abuja Zonal Director, Mr Buba Abubakar, gave this advice at the DPR reinforcement of sales and distribution of petroleum products in Abuja.

He said that any filling station found hoarding products would be sanctioned, adding that Nigerians should avoid panic buying of products.

According to him, stock piling of products at home remains volatile with the current weather temperature.

“Any filling station, we found not selling, first, we will find out why it was not selling if they have products, then if the excuse is not genuine, we will seal it up.

“My general assessment is that everything is okay.

”Nigerians should not go into panic buying, we are seriously trying to stop people from buying with Jerry cans because of the temperature we have today, it is dangerous.

“There is availability of products, people are working, sales are ongoing, there is no cause for alarm,’’ he said

Abubakar said that the DPR had made adequate arrangement to ensure availability of products to dispense to Nigerians even in the hinterland.

“We have our surveillance team, if we get any call, remember our numbers are on our website.

”So, if we get any call, we will dispatch people to anywhere within the Abuja and its environs,” he said.

Abubakar while commenting on the depots shutting down, said the depots were at work, and  that the DPR and Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) had stationed their representatives at various depots to monitor development

“We have reps and the depots are working 24 hours from the ships that brought the fuel to the tank farm, to the retail outlet.

”we have DPR, PPPRA representatives, along all value chain, we have our reps for enforcement,’’ he added

Nigeria News Agency reports that some of the filling stations visited by the team in the FCT were opened but had low patronage as Nigerians complied with the stay-at-home order by the government.

At Conoil in Kado Estate, the Manager, Mr Godwin Aghogho, said that the station opened at around 7 a.m. but had low patronage.

He said that they had adequate products and would continue to dispense to people who come to buy.

At Another Conoil station Opposite the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, NAN observed that it was dispensing with two petrol pumps with government official vehicles in queue to buy the products.

The Manager of the station Mr Lawrence Ogbagha, said that some of its staff was unable to come to work due to restrictions by police and transportation challenge.

“As you can see, we are selling but the only problem we are having is that some of the security  men on the road, when you show them your ID card that you are working with filling stations, they say no that federal government did approve filling stations to open.

“Some of my staff cannot come and that is why all my pumps are not dispensing.

“Another issue is transportation, some of us have car to move around, most of the pump attendants don’t have cars that is major challenge,’’ he said.

Ogbagha noted that it opened sales for the day with 66,050 litres of petrol, adding that it had two trucks on ground yet to be discharged.

He assured that station had enough products to dispense to Nigerian at all times.

Also, at Total filling station at the Central Business District, the Assistant Manager, Mr Bature Yaki, said that it had 33,000 litres of petrol and was currently discharging a truck.

“We are not selling now because we are discharging, this is security style.

”We have been selling before the trucks came. After discharging, we will restart selling,’’ he said

Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Felix Ajide
(NAN)

 

 

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Oil & Gas

COVID-19: DPR intensifies surveillance on fuel stations, urges safety compliance

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) has intensified surveillance on fuel stations to ensure fuel availability in Sokoto and Kebbi states.

The DPR Field Controller in charge of Sokoto and Kebbi states, Mr Muhammad Makera, told Nigeria News Agency on Tuesday.

Makera urged fuel marketers and the general public to adhere to safety guides on containing the spread of Coronavirus.

He said filling stations must ensure customers abide by the social distancing measure while queuing to buy fuel.

He also urged them to provide sanitizers and face masks at their stations.

The Controller noted that congestion notice in some filling stations were not in Sokoto and Kebbi alone as the situation affected different parts in the country.

According to him, lifting of products have resumed fully as no fewer that 84 trucks were loaded for Sokoto and Kebbi states.

” 35 trucks were allocated to Sokoto state and 49 trucks to Kebbi state out of which 24 is for Sokoto metropolis while 11 for Birnin Kebbi town ” Makera said.

He said fuel disparities notice in some stations also might be connected to old stuck, however, with the present lifting all stations must sell at the Federal Government’s reduced price of N125 litres.

He warned fuel marketers against diverting, hoarding or over pricing, saying anyone found wanting would not be spared.

He also called on the public to report any wrongdoing by filling stations in the state.

Edited By: Felix Ajide
(NAN)

 

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General news

Lockdown: don’t store petroleum products, Ogun DPR tells residents

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Abeokuta Field Office, has warned the public not to store petroleum products or engage in panic buying during the lockdown.

The Operations Controller, Mrs Muinat Bello-Zagi, gave the warning in a statement on Tuesday in Abeokuta.

She said that there was no cause for alarm as all depots are loading and petroleum products would be available all through.

She also urged consumers of Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) also known as cooking gas to patronise only licensed plants while also discouraging transfers and decanting by gas retailers.

Bello-Zagi cautioned people against using sanitisers close to any source of ignition or in the kitchen.

“We’re pleading with our people to shun panic buying and storage of petroleum products in their houses. There’s no reason to do that. There’s enough product and all the depots are loading.

“The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) Chairman, Mosimi, Otunba Femi Adelaja, has assured us of his members’ commitment to the availability of products.

“People should also desist from buying petrol inside polythene bags or plastic bottles. These are unsafe practices.

“In the course of our surveillance, we’ve also noticed that some people overzealously make use of hand sanitizers.

“Some even rub it on their body. This is quite unsafe because it contains alcohol which could cause fire incidents,” she said.

Bello-Zagi also urged members of the public to check enabling laws and guidelines before delving into the oil and gas business.

“Intending operators are advised to log on to the DPR website; www.dpr.gov.ng for more information just as LPG operators too should submit their applications online via elps.dpr.gov.ng.

“We also encourage members of the public to report any unsafe act at any oil and gas installations during and after the lockdown,” she added.

Edited By: Fela Fashoro/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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Defence/Security

DPR enforces N125 pump price for petrol in Anambra

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), has promised to protect Nigerians from extortionist tendency of some unpatriotic marketers of petroleum products in Anambra.

Mr Okiemute Akpomudjere, Operations Controller, Awka Area office of DPR said this when he led a surveillance team to enforce the new government price of N125 per litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) on Friday.

Akpomudjere, who was represented by Mr Victor Ojiakor, Manager Operations, said marketers in Anambra must operate under the rules guiding the sector or face the wrath of the law.

Nigeria News Agencyn , reports that the DPR monitored sales at a good number of major and independent retail outlets where they forced erring marketers to reset their machines to N125 and also supervised sales.

NAN also reports that most filling stations were still selling at N145.

Akpomudjere said the regulatory agency was worried that the price review which was made to mitigate the pains of Nigerians at this time was being flouted, insisting that buyers of petrol must have the full value of their money.

He urged the general public to insist on buying at the new price and report cases of infringement to DPR.

“We have gone round Awka metropolis to see the level of compliance to the new approved pump price and also to enforce that it is obeyed here.

“From our visits, a few of them had adjusted but some were still selling at N145 but as our responsibility, we had to force them to change and sell at the new price regime which is a new policy.

“As a regulator, the DPR wants to see that the new price is respected, that customers enjoy the accruing benefit as envisaged by the federal government.

“We want to warn those who are still flouting the order within our area of operation to do the needful or face the sanctions which range from sealing off to withdrawal of operating licences,” he said.

Rev. Cannon Okey Okeke, who bought petrol at N125 said that was the first time he was buying at that rate.

Okeke commended the DPR and urged it to take the enforcement to other parts of the state where marketers ripped customers off.

“This is the first time I am buying petrol at N125 and that is because DPR is here, I want to commend them and urge them to come to Nnewi and help us there,” he said.

Another customer, Chief Emeka Agbapuonwu, said Nigerians should not wait to be forced before doing the right thing, adding that the regulator’s intervention was welcome.

Agbapuonwu, a lawyer, said, “at least I am now a beneficiary of the new price.

“I hope other states can do same, the DPR is doing well, but my worry is that the marketers can even begin to hoard fuel because of this; so, I call for sustained surveillance.

A marketer, who pleaded anonymity, said the enforcement should have waited until the outlets exhausted their previous stocks.

He said the price reduction would affect their profitability with which they service their debt obligations to their bank and called on federal government to help them stay in business.

NAN reports that fuel dealers in Anambra are notorious for hike in fuel prices and always created artificial scarcity during festive periods in order to sell at unacceptably prohibitive prices.

Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Donald Ugwu
(NAN)

 

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Sport

FIFA Women’s Ranking: Nigeria now first in Africa

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Nigeria’s Super Falcons have been ranked as the first team in Africa after moving up by one spot to place 38th in the world in the FIFA Women’s World Football Ranking.

In the ranking table for the month of March on the website of world football governing body FIFA on Thursday, Nigeria garnered 1,614 points.

Nigeria placed first in Africa ahead of Cameroon, South Africa, Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire who are second, third, fourth and fifth respectively.

Zambia are also among several teams to have earned a oca-Cola Women’s World Ranking boost following a busy start to the year.

A combination of Women’s Olympic Football Tournament qualifiers and several friendly tournaments have caused significant movement across the continents.

”While the Zambians (100th, up 6) are this edition’s biggest climbers after clinching a spot at the Olympics with a shock triumph over Cameroon, they are not the only team ascending the order.

France (3rd, up 1), Brazil (8th, up 1), Korea DPR (10th, up 1) and Korea Republic (18th, up 2) have all edged upwards in the top 20, while both Slovenia (49th, up 1) and Jamaica (50th, up 1) are now in their highest-ever positions.

”In truth, these gains are often indebted as much to others’ struggles as to the rising team’s successes.

”Korea DPR have leapfrogged Japan (11th, down 1), due to the Nadeshiko suffering three straight losses at the SheBelieves Cup, while Slovenia and Jamaica have advanced thanks to Zambia’s surprise qualifying defeat of Cameroon (51st, down 2).

”At the very top, the USA’s (1st, unchanged) long reign continues after the world champions lifted the SheBelieves Cup on home soil.

”But Germany (2nd, unchanged) have at least narrowed the gap after impressing at the Algarve Cup and gaining 12 ranking points – more than any other top-ten team in this edition,” a report on the website said.

The global order has also welcomed its newest addition, with Gambia (113th) increasing the number of teams in the ranking to 159 – the second-highest number on record.

(
Edited By: Mufutau Ojo)
(NAN)

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General news

N125 petrol: DPR records 70% compliance in Zamfara

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it has  recorded 70 per cent compliance in Zamfara on the Federal Government’s directives on the new approved pump price of N125 per litre for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

The Controller, Gusau DPR Field Office, Alhaji Yusuf Shehu disclosed this after the routine surveillance exercise in Gusau on Friday.

“You know since last week, we have dispatched our surveillance teams to monitor the level of compliance by filling stations across the state”, Shehu said.

He said more than 70 per cent of filling stations operating in the state had fully complied with the directive by the Federal Government to sell a litre of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) at N125.

He said while the remaining 30 per cent had already exhausted their products.

“As you can see, some of the stations visited do not have the products on ground but they are expecting the products any time from now.

“We will also ensure that, they adjust their pump price not until when the products arrived at their stations.

“We also caught some marketers under-dispensing and we suspended them and we asked them to revert”, he said.

“We don’t want a situation where it will cause any hindrance to the movement of the people.

“In case of any one caught hoarding the product, he will be sanctioned in line with the rules and regulations of the department”, the Controller explained.

He warned that all filling stations that had failed to comply with the directive would be sealed.

He appealed to the public to report to its office, any filling station that sold petroleum products above the government approved pump price of N125.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam and Isaac Ukpoju
(NAN)

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Economy

Pump-price: Youths close 7 petrol stations in Bayelsa

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The Central Zone of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has locked down seven petrol filling stations in Yenagoa for allegedly not adjusting to the N125 pump-price.

The youth visited many filling stations in Yenagoa and locked down the affected stations.

NAN recalls that the Federal Government had reduced the pump price from N145 to N125 per litre to reflect the fall in crude oil prices.

The youth applauded four fuel dealers who had reviewed their prices downwards to reflect the new petrol price.

Mr Kenedy Olorogun, Chairman of IYC, Central Zone, explained that their action was informed by the attitude of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

 

Olorogun expressed displeasure over the refusal by petrol dealers to comply with fuel price reduction in Bayelsa, adding that other states in the federation had adhered to the new price.

He noted that  in Bayelsa, most filling stations were still selling at N145 in defiance of the directive to reduce the price.

 

He said that the youth would keep monitoring the filling stations that had yet to comply with the fuel price reduction, calling on DPR and other regulators to act.

Some of the filling stations that have complied with the new price are Total filling station, Unless God Oil, Sobaz filling station and Tamic Nig. Ltd. All in Yenagoa metropolis.

Those shut down by the youth include Pados, Ebi Egrin & Sons Nig. Ltd, Okpom’s Oil, Emitare Nig. Ltd, Watgo Petroleum, JJ Wak’s Nig. Ltd and the River Nun filling station.

However, the DPR in Bayelsa described the allegations of inaction on its part as baseless and cheap blackmail by the youth who were merely seeking relevance and recognition.

Mr Omasanjuwa Oshodi, a Public Relations Officer at DPR Office, Bayelsa told Nigeria News Agency in a telephone interview on Friday that the operations of the IYC in enforcing the new price of petrol was illegal and criminal.

He insisted  that the youth lacked the recognition of government and expertise to regulate the sector.

“For the avoidance of doubt, DPR in Bayelsa has increased its surveillance activities and is effectively enforcing the new price regime.

“The operations controller led a team of senior officials of DPR on Thursday on routine surveillance across Yenagoa to enforce compliance and many of the stations visited promptly adjusted their pumps to reflect the new regulated price.

“In spite of the Coronavirus, we are doing our best in the discharge of our statutory responsibility and we remain undeterred by the illegal activities and cheap blackmail by the youth and we cannot join issues with them.

“We will not get distracted as we are currently engaged in our work to ensure that the reduction in the pump price by the Federal Government brings relief to the people of Bayelsa.

“The DPR cannot tolerate the exploitation of the public by selling above the approved N125 or underdispensing, we are enforcing it,” Oshodi said.

Edited By: Kayode Olaitan
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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