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21 NNPC depots dysfunctional, pipelines obsolete, vandalised –IPMAN

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Twenty-one depots belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and meant for the storage of petroleum products, particularly Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, are dysfunctional.

Saturday PUNCH gathered that the facilities had been redundant, just like Nigeria’s four refineries, which are also under the management of NNPCL.

Oil marketers told our correspondent that the pipelines that supply or evacuate products to the depots were either vandalised or obsolete, stressing that this was why the NNPCL had been employing the services of private depot owners.

The company is the sole importer of petrol in Nigeria, a task it has shouldered for more than four years. Other marketers stopped importing the commodity due to the difficulty in accessing foreign exchange.

The Secretary, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Abuja-Suleja, Mohammed Shuaibu, described the situation as precarious.

He said, “We are in a very precarious situation. The government has to wake up to its duties because as you know, none of the four refineries is productive. They are more or less obsolete.

“We also have 21 depots across the country, nine in the North and 12 in the South. But these depots, which are supposed to be storage facilities, are not productive, because the pipelines that supply products to them are old or vandalised.

“So, the only way to get petroleum products into Nigeria today is through imports. That is only done by NNPC and when it imports the product, it dumps them in private depots, which take charge of the products.”

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Shuaibu added, “But right now, the private depots have raised the price of products. This is making everyone apprehensive. Those who have paid at the government-approved price might wake up to find out that they can no longer buy products.

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“As it is now, all the northern parts of Nigeria have been affected and the depots that are supposed to be the storage facilities do not have products. Everybody now relies on going down south to bring in products.

“And when you go there, you are not even sure of getting it. Some trucks spend weeks on roads before they arrive at their destinations due to the bad road network in Nigeria.”

Speaking further, he said a lot of retail outlets owned by independent marketers had been shut due to a lack of products to sell, giving rise to the activities of black marketers of petrol.

“Many petrol stations have been closed. These outlets were built to sell petroleum products, but when you don’t have the product what do you do? This is why you see black marketers selling petrol in jerrycans everywhere,” Shuaibu added.

The National Public Relations Officer of the association, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, said with the dysfunctional nature of the NNPC depots, some private depots sold the commodity at N210 per litre, whereas the approved NNPC rate was N147 per litre.

Ukadike, however, explained that the charges incurred by these private depots, such as paying rent for vessels in dollars, among others, were factors that led to the hike in the cost of petrol at the depots.

“This is why we are pleading with the government to bring back the depots under the management of the NNPC, so that we can access products at the approved rate,” he stated.

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Industry sources disclosed that the concerns in the downstream oil sector had made some persons in the industry profiteer from the lapses, as they urged the NNPC to address the challenges fast.

SEE ALSO:  Gunmen kill two police officers, two others in Imo

Meanwhile, officials at the NNPC stated that the vandalism of pipelines that transport and evacuate PMS from depots was the major obstacle to the functionality of the facilities.

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Many Nigerians can no longer afford beer – NB CEO

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Nigerian Breweries releases new prices of drinks

The Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries Plc, Hans Essaadi, has said that the economic situation in Nigeria has deteriorated to the extent citizens can no longer afford to buy beer.

Essaadi said this on Monday at the company’s investor call following the release of its 2023 results.

“It has been unprecedented year for our business in Nigeria. We saw a significant decline in the mainstream lager market as a result of Nigerian consumers no longer able to afford a Goldberg after a hard day’s work,” Bloomberg quoted Essaadi as saying.

NB suffered a N153bn foreign exchange loss due to the devaluation of the naira for the year ended December 2023.

For the period under review, the company grew its revenue by 8.9 per cent to N599.64bn from N550.64bn. Net finance expense rose significantly by 449.7 per cent to N189.19bn, dragging the brewer to a loss of N106.31bn, from a gain of N13.19bn at the end of 2022.

In comments accompanying the financial results, the NB Board of Directors said, “The Nigeria business landscape experienced significant shifts in 2023 with substantial impact on businesses and livelihoods nationwide. The redesign of the naira notes which resulted in cash shortage that severely hampered social and economic activities nationwide set the tone for a turbulent year.

“High double-digit inflation rates (with food inflation at more than 30 per cent), removal of subsidy on premium motor spirit (fuel), devaluation of the naira, and foreign exchange scarcity further exacerbated the already difficult environment for the populace and businesses.”

He added that despite the headwinds, “The company was able to grow its revenue by nine per cent compared to the previous year aided by a positive price mix. However, the operating profit fell by 15 per cent due to higher input cost and one-off reorganisation costs despite strong and aggressive cost savings and other efficiency measures. Coupled with the impact of the devaluation of the naira which resulted in a foreign exchange loss of N153bn, the Company recorded a net loss of N106 billion during the year.”

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The board went on to state its preparedness to tap into its decades of experience of operating in Nigeria to weather the current macroeconomic headwinds.

SEE ALSO:  Many Nigerians can no longer afford beer – NB CEO

“In a difficult operating environment, the board will ensure that the company builds on its more than 77 years experience of operating in Nigeria to cope with current realities. The company will continue to be resilient and forward-thinking leveraging our broad portfolio, strong supply chain footprint and passionate workforce to drive long-term value creation for its shareholders and other stakeholders,” the board said.

In August, NB reviewed the prices of its products upward to accommodate the continued increase in the cost of inputs.

NB produces alcoholic products like Star Lager, Gulder, Legend Extra Stout, Heineken, Goldberg, Life, and Star Radler.

The Central Bank of Nigeria harmonised the segments of the foreign currency market in June 2023 leading to a devaluation of the Naira.

The effect was felt by different companies that recorded forex losses. However, the banking sector faired better as they enjoyed FX revaluation gains.

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Nigerian Breweries releases new prices of drinks

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Nigerian Breweries releases new prices of drinks

The Nigerian Breweries Plc recently announced an upward price change for its Stock-Keeping Units (STUs) with effect from February 19.

A letter dated February 12 titled: ‘Price review notification,’ by the Zonal Business Manager (West), Lekan Awosanya, reads in part: “This is to inform you that we are constrained to review the prices of some of our SKUs effective from Monday, 19th February 2024. This review has become necessary because of the continued rising input cost and the need to mitigate the impact.

“In appreciation of our great partnership and your commitment, we will deliver at the current prices all open orders that are fully funded and created in our system before 00.00hrs on Monday, 19th February 2024.

“While thanking you for your commitment to our great partnership, be rest assured that we will continue to support your sales/distribution efforts as always. For further clarification, please do not hesitate to contact your Regional Business Manager.”

Here is the new price list

1. GULDER – N950

2. STAR – N850

3. 33 EXTRA – N850

4. HEINEKEN – N1300

5. LIFE – N850

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6. LEGEND – N1250

7. TIGER – N750

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SEE ALSO:  Gunmen kill two police officers, two others in Imo
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UBA takes centre stage as Elumelu addresses 2024 ECOWAS mining forum in Cotonou

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UBA takes centre stage as Elumelu addresses 2024 ECOWAS mining forum in Cotonou
•UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu
Africa’s Global Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has been announced as the official sponsor of the 4th edition of the ECOWAS Mining and Petroleum Forum (ECOMOF 2024) scheduled to take place at the Palais des Congrès in Cotonou, Benin from February 22 to February 24, 2024.

The regional event is expected to see a large gathering of key players and stakeholders in the mining and petroleum sectors of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and as the financial institution of choice, with presence in 20 African countries and active involvement in major continental development projects, UBA is the preferred partner for the event, underlining the bank’s commitment to the growth of mining and Petroleum industry in the sub-region but to the whole not African economic development.

UBA Group Chairman, Tony Elumelu, would give the keynote address during the opening ceremony of this all-important event.

Elumelu who doubles as Chairman of Transcorp Group, with extensive interests in energy and power, will be speaking on the theme: “Geo-extractive Resources and Technologies: what pooling strategies for Value Creation in West Africa”

His speech is expected to highlight UBA’s increasing effort to support and develop the African continent through strategic investments in the key sectors of mining and petroleum.

Under the esteemed leadership of the President of the Republic of Benin, His Excellency, Patrice Talon, and the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and current President of ECOWAS, His Excellency Mr. Bola Tinubu, UBA Group will at the forum aim to restate its commitment towards supporting economic and social development across the continent.

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The focus of ECOMOF 2024 underscores the significance of transforming the mining and oil sectors into economic pillars by formulating attractive policies for investors, essential for the sectors’ substantial contribution to the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) of ECOWAS member states.

The Transnational Corporation Group (Transcorp Plc) – a diversified conglomerate with strategic investments in various sectors, including power and energy – will also actively participate in the forum.

Key officials from UBA Group and Transcorp Plc, including the Chief Executive Officer UBA Africa, Abiola Bawuah; UBA’s Group Head, Corporate and Energy Bank, Ebele Ogbue, and President/ Chief Executive Officer, Transcorp Group, Owen Omogiafo will be actively involved in discussions and panels on the sidelines of the event.

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Anticipated to attract over 2,000 participants from diverse sectors, including representatives from mining and oil industries, government officials, international and national investors, industry experts, ECOWAS delegates, and international organizations, ECOMOF 2024 promises to be a significant platform for collaborative dialogue and partnership building.

United Bank for Africa is one of the largest employers in the financial sector on the African continent, with 25,000 employees’ group wide and serving over 35 million customers globally. Operating in 20 African countries and in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, France and the United Arab Emirates, UBA provides retail, commercial and institutional banking services, leading financial inclusion and implementing cutting edge technology.

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