NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020
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A CALL TO THE GOVERNMENT ON THE WASTING OF TRILLIONS OF NAIRAS ON FUEL IMPORTATION :
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, I believe that your report in the front page of today’s Guardian Newspaper referenced above should have been titled “Why Fuel Subsidies In Nigeria Are Illegal And Unconstitutional”. This is borne out of my belief that the costly, clearly unsustainable practice of subsidizing fuel is at the heart of the seemingly intractable problem of a cost-effective and efficient fuel production, supply and consumption strategy in the country. The following are my reasons.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, To start with, no law backs the practice of subsidizing petroleum products in Nigeria. Before reviewing the various extant legislation on the subject, it is essential to understand what a subsidy means. A subsidy is simply an amount of money paid by the government or an organization to reduce the cost of producing a product in order to keep its price low. See the Oxford Advanced Learners’ English Dictionary, 6th edition, page 1194. No law imposes such an obligation on the government. The relevant extant statutes in this regard are the following:-
The Petroleum Act, 1969, Section 6(1);
The Price Control Act, 1977;
The Petroleum Equalization Fund Act 1975;
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency Act 2003;
The erstwhile provision for subsidies in the annual Appropriation Acts or Budget (now discontinued under the present Government);
Item 62(e) of the Exclusive Legislative List in Schedule Two of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, By virtue of this last enactment, i.e., Item 62(e) of the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution, only the National Assembly has the power to control the prices of any product in Nigeria. This power is, however, not at large, but is to be exercised only in respect of essential products and commodities as designated by the Assembly. With the exception of drugs, the National Assembly has designated no product as essential. To that extent, the aforesaid statutes are all ultra vires the Assembly, invalid, null and void: see Section 1(1) & (3) of the Constitution.
It follows that the practice of the Federal Government, either through the NNPC, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the PPPRA, or otherwise, of subsidizing petroleum products is also unconstitutional, invalid, null and void. It is important to stress that what Item 62(e) of the Exclusive Legislative List of the Constitution recognizes is price control and not subsidization; the two are not the same, for, whilst a subsidy is a means of controlling prices, not all price control measures involve subsidies, as it depends on the modalities, if any, applicable in any given case. I submit that the express terms of the relevant one in this case, i.e., the Price Control Act, leave no room for conjecture that the National Assembly intended to subsidize petroleum products.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, Accordingly, the erstwhile practice of appropriating funds in the annual Budget for fuel subsidy payments is illegal because it is inconsistent with the Price Control Act – even assuming, without conceding that the National Assembly has designated petroleum products as essential commodities. Even though the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has purportedly dispensed with this practice, (preferring, somewhat disingenuously, to absorb the subsidy as part of the “operational costs” of the State Oil Company, the NNPC), one must wonder whether this is not a not-too-subtle subterfuge to hoodwink Nigerians, given that the removal of fuel subsidies has historically proved to be unpopular. It remains to be seen. For now, we shall content ourselves with the law, starting with the Price Control Act.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, The First Schedule to the Act lists nine different products as being subject to price control at the discretion of the Minister of Commerce; petroleum products are item 7 on that list. The Act is not silent on the parameters to be applied in fixing the open market price of any such product. Those parameters are contained in Section 5 of the Act, which recognizes two different scenarios – a basic price (Sec. 5(1)(a)) and a permitted variation to the basic price (Sec. 5(1)(b)). By virtue of Sec. 1(1) of the Act, the Price Control Board is the sole body responsible for fixing the basic price and the variation permitted thereto, for the whole country.
This, the Board does by notice published in the Federal Gazette. With regard to the basic price, Sec. 5(2) of the Act differentiates between locally produced goods, and goods imported into Nigeria. In respect of the first, i.e., goods produced (or fuel refined) in Nigeria, the basic price is “the price which, in the opinion of the Board, properly represents the cost of production of the commodity, plus the manufacturer’s profit” – Sec. 5(2)(a). In the second case, i.e., imported goods, the basic price is “the duty-paid landed cost in Nigeria plus the importer’s profit” – Sec. 5(2)(b). Sec. 5(3) of the Act permits a variation to the basic price, being an amount which, in the opinion of the Price Control Board, “represents the transport and other costs plus the distributor’s profit, which ought properly to be added to the basic price in order to represent a fair controlled price, wholesale or retail, in any State.” This provision is the subject matter of an entire statute, the Petroleum Equalization Fund (Management Board, etc) Act, 1975.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, It can be seen that the two, i.e., the basic price and the permitted variation, constitute the controlled price of the commodities listed in the First Schedule to the Act. This much is clear, I submit, because Sec. 18(1) of the Act defines “controlled price” as “the controlled price, wholesale or retail, fixed in accordance with Section 5 of this Act”. I submit that by virtue of Sec. 6(1) of the Act, the controlled price of a commodity under the Act is the open market price of that commodity. It provides that: “It shall be unlawful for any person to sell, agree to sell or offer to sell any or employ any other person, whether or not that other person is of full age, to sell any controlled commodity at a price which exceeds the controlled price.” (emphasis supplied).
A Treading news Affiliated to the Corporation and said to be written by Abubakar D. Sani.
NNPC TRADE SURPLUS IN OCTOBER 2019
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) recorded a trading surplus of ₦13.23billion in October 2019.
This represented an increase of 54 per cent compared to ₦8.59 billion surpluses posted in September 2019.
The Corporation disclosed this in its Monthly Financial and Operation Report (MFOR) for the month of October released in Abuja.
The report reflected the sustained streak of positive results in the operations of the National Oil Company.
It added that the September 2019 trading surplus of ₦8.59 billion, in turn, indicated a significant increase of 65 per cent compared to the ₦5.20billion surplus posted in August 2019.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, The report noted that the August surplus also beat the ₦4.26billion surplus posted in July 2019, reflecting an increase of 22 per cent.
The report revealed that the October surplus was largely due to the improved trading surplus posted by its Upstream subsidiary, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
On Crude oil and Gas sales, it said that a total Crude Oil and Gas export sales of 483.25 million dollars were made in October 2019.
It said this was an increase of 35.77 percentage point, compared to September, implying that in October, Crude oil export contributed 396.94million dollars (82.14 per cent) of the dollar transactions, compared with 267.97million dollars contribution in the September 2019.
It noted that the export Gas sales for the month amounted to 86.32 million dollars.
“Overall, the October 2018 to October 2019 Crude Oil and Gas transactions indicated that Crude Oil and Gas worth 5.49 billion dollars was exported,’’ it said.
NIGERIAN NATIONAL PETROLEUM CORPORATION LATEST 2020, In the Downstream Sector, it said that 1.16billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit(PMS) also known as petrol, translating to 37.30mn litres/day, were supplied for the month.
It noted that the corporation had continued to monitor the daily stock of PMS in order to achieve a smooth distribution of petroleum products and zero fuel queue nationwide.
The report said that in October 2019, 35 vandalized-pipeline points, representing a decrease of 81 per cent from the 186 vandalized-points in September 2019, were recorded.
“Out of the vandalized points, eight failed to be welded, while only one pipeline was ruptured, with Ibadan-Ilorin axis accounting for 34 per cent of the breaks.
“ATC-Mosimi and other routes accounted for 23 per cent and 43 per cent, respectively,’’ it noted.
In the Gas Sector, the report said that out of the 235.82 billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of gas supplied in October 2019, a total of 134.97 BCF of gas was commercialized, consisting of 31.37 BCF for the domestic market and 103.60 BCF for the export market.
This, it said translated to a total supply of 1.01 Million Standard Cubic Feet (mmscfd) of gas to the domestic market and 3.34 mmscfd of gas supplied to the export market.
It said that during the month, 57.23 per cent of the average daily gas produced was commercialized, while the balance of 42.77 per cent was re-injected, used as Upstream fuel gas or flared.
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ABULE EGBA EXPLOSION AND NNPC BOSS VISIT
The Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in person of Mele Kolo Kyari visited the scene of the Abule-Egba pipeline explosion, He was said to be there “for on-the-spot assessment of the scene of the unfortunate pipeline explosion.”
The explosion, which happened on Sunday night, left three persons dead, while many trucks and houses were burnt.
The Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) said the explosion was as a result of a vandalised NNPC pipeline in the area and reports also indicated scores of persons were severely injured and also highlighted that the fire broke out at Ile-Epo Bus Stop along Abeokuta Expressway, spreading instantly to nearby Abule Egba before another explosion was heard in Fagba and Ekoro Road — all densely populated suburbs north of Lagos but several kilometres apart.