The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is currently presenting 2023 appropriation Bill to the state Assembly.
The governor on Thursday stands before the Assembly as he defends the proposed budget for 2023.
During the presentation, Sanwo-Olu said the new Blue Line and Red Line rails would commence operations by the first quarter of 2023.
He noted that the new rails would generate thousands of jobs upon their commencement of service.
The Assembly is expected to scrutinise the proposed budget.
The appropriation bill themed, “Budget of Continuous Development,” is over N1.692tn.
Labour Rages Over Persistent Petrol Scarcity Across Nigeria
The Nigeria Labour Congres and the Trade Union Congress have described as unacceptable the lingering scarcity of petrol across the country and the unapproved price hike above N240 a litre in the country.
They urged the government to find an immediate solution to the shortage before things get out of hand.
In a joint statement by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), the Organised Labour said that no excuse was good enough for the shortage because no private individual or company was importing a litre of PMS into this Country.
They argued that all products are imported by the government and there is no record whatsoever that the agency of government that is importing the products has added a kobo to the price it sells the products to the marketers.
In the statement signed by the President of NLC and TUC, Ayuba Wabba, and Festus Osifo, respectively and titled “Fuel shortages, price hike and avoidable long queues in filling stations are unacceptable and no longer tolerable”, said they are reliably informed that the shortage is deliberately fostered by players in the downstream sector in order to hike the price far above the government approved threshold.
The statement read “The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) are seriously bewildered and disturbed by the persistent shortage and uncontrollable prices that players in the downstream sector of the petroleum industry are meting out to Nigerians.
“The persistent shortages of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) otherwise called petrol in the country has become a source of pain to the Nigerian people. It has led not just to long avoidable queues but adulteration of the product by unscrupulous elements; exploitation of the consumers, and turning fuel stations into traffic menace.
“All these have tragic consequences for the Nigerian people and debilitating effects on the health of the economy which itself is not in a good state. We are reliably informed that the shortage is deliberately fostered by players in the downstream sector in order to hike the price far above the government-approved threshold. It is an added problem when non-state actors begin to arrogate to themselves the power to determine the price of a litre of fuel far above the rate pegged by the government in the current subsidy regime
“The Nigerian people and taxpayers currently expense several trillions of Naira annually to subsidize petrol. The same people cannot be exploited and made to pay over N240 per litre when the current ex-depot price is currently fixed at N148.19k per litre. The opportunity cost of the subsidy payment is enormous and yet the benefit of the subsidy regime is gradually being eroded.
“No country develops when its people are subjected to perennial hardship and its industries are shackled by unnecessary chains of miseries.
“It is more disturbing that the government is equally demonstrating a high level of culpability in the unwholesome situation by its silence and unwillingness to frontally and publicly address the harrowing experiences of Nigeria in the current situation because no concerned and responsive government will bury its head in the sands like the proverbial Ostrich while the citizens are being brutally exploited.
“For the records, no private individual or companies are importing a litre of PMS into this country, all products are imported by the government and there is no record whatsoever that the agency of government that is importing the products has added a kobo to the price it sells the products to the marketers.
“We are strongly worried that leaving our energy security and sovereignty in the hands of unscrupulous capitalists and their collaborators will further plunge this nation into the economic abyss we are working hard to avoid.
“The labour centres, therefore, demand of the Federal Government an end to the avoidable, unnecessary, crippling and pain-inducing fuel shortages and unapproved price hike of up to N24O in the country. No excuse is good enough to cripple the country. If there are challenges, they should be fixed; we have a government in power to fix challenges not to make excuses.
“Organised Labour is ready and willing to engage the Federal Government and assist in all ways possible to overcome the country’s present challenges. But we caution it not to take either the Labour Movement or the Nigerian people for granted as it seems to be manifestly doing on various crucial national issues.
Regulatory and law enforcement agencies should do more to protect the larger Nigeria society from exploitation.”
Nigeria Drops To 7th On OPEC Production List
Nigeria now ranks seventh on Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ crude oil production list, according to the organisation’s Monthly Oil Market Report for November, which examined oil production performance in October.
Nigeria’s output was a mere 1.014 million barrels per day in October, ranking seventh after Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Iraq, Angola and Algeria.
While Nigeria’s production was 1. 014mb/d in October, Angola produced 1. 051mb/d; Algeria, 1.060mb/d; Kuwait 2.811mb/d; UAE, 3.188mb/d; Iraq, 4.651mb/d; and Saudi Arabia, 10. 957mb/d.
While Venezuela’s production was 711b/d, Equatorial Guinea’s was 57b/d. The likes of Gabon, Libya and Iran did not produce a barrel in the month.
Nigeria used to rank fifth, with countries such as Angola and Algeria behind it in terms of crude oil production.
West Africa’s largest economy has been through a rough patch as its crude oil production is bedevilled by theft and pipeline vandalism.
A recent report revealed how the country lost N415bn to the shutdown of nine crude oil terminals within the space of two months.
The affected terminals, Forcados, Qua Ibo, Bonny, Bonga, Voho, Erha, Brass, Ukpokiti and Aje were shut down between May and June 2022.
Crude oil losses recorded as a result of the shut-in include 258,000 from Forcados between June 24 and 30; 1,470mb from Qua Iboe from June 15-30; 3, 545mb from Bonny from June 1-30; and 558,000b from Bonga between June 15 and 30.
According to him, beyond technology, Nigeria needed to identify the challenges, find the origin of the problem and deal with it.”
Rainoil’s Facility To Boost Nigeria’s Gas Utilisation
The African Refiners and Distributors Association has applauded Rainoil Limited for its gas facility located at Ijegun-Egba, Amuwo Odofin LGA, Lagos State.
The association commended the company’s genuine move to boost domestic utilisation of Liquified Petroleum Gas in the country, noting that its facility would contribute positively to the Nigerian economy.
The association gave the commendation during a recent tour of the facility, where its President, Marième Decraene, the Executive Secretary, Anibor Kragha, and other delegates praised the company for its resilience and support for the Nigerian economy.
According to Kragha, the visit was necessitated by the need for members to see the reality of the massive projects going on in Nigeria. He noted that Rainoil was aligning with the vision of the Federal Government and ARDA in driving cleaner fuel in the region.
According to him, ARDA’s vision was to serve as the leader in Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels. “We also promote the harmonisation of cleaner fuel specifications across Africa in line with the AFRI Fuels Roadmap to avoid urban pollution and the associated health challenges. ARDA supports the implementation of a Cleaner Air Policy with a regulatory framework that considers fuels and vehicles as an integrated system.”
He noted that the association was in Nigeria as part of its mission, noting that it was focused on developing an integrated energy self-sufficiency plan for Africa that would promote the processing of African crude oil in upgraded African refineries.
Kragha confirmed that the delegation had earlier paid a courtesy call to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC), the Dangote Refinery and was scheduled to visit Sahara Group’s Egbin Power Plant.