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Full Deregulation Of Petrol Price Coming, Says Fed Govt

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Petrol pricing will be fully deregulated before end of this year, Minister of State (Petroleum) Timipre Sylva said.
He spoke amid controversy over whether a new price template of N206 per litre from N162 – N163 for March is about to be introduced.
The minister spoke at the University of Ibadan during the opening of the 56th Annual International Conference and Exhibition of the Nigeria Mining and Geoscience Society (NMGS).
Sylva said: “We have been talking about deregulation for decades. Unfortunately, we have not succeeded. We have succeeded in deregulating some products.
“Kerosene has been fully deregulated; diesel has been fully deregulated. But deregulation of PMS (petrol) has continued to elude us. We expect that this year, we will be able to achieve that.
“But, before we do that, we want to apply the principle of tolling the roads. Before you toll a road, you are expected to give an alternative.
“So, what we want to do for Nigerians is to give a credible and cheaper fuel as an alternative before we fully deregulate and we believe we will be able to achieve this later this year.
Read Also: No increase in petrol price, says PPPRA
“And this, of course, is going to be a responsible way of also maintaining our environment.”
There were indications yesterday that the Federal Government, the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress will meet for talks after the Easter break.
Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, said the government had not tabled any pump price before the Labour, contrary to the claim that the government proposed a pump price of about N202 per litre to N206 per litre, which Labour rejected by insisting on N168 per litre.
It was learnt that the last time the two sides met, it was the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, who presented some market indices to Labour.
Kyari was said to have put the landing cost at N202 per litre confirming speculations that the fuel price increase was inevitable.
A labour source said: “We are standing by our position that there is no need for fuel price increase. But the government and Labour will resume talks immediately after the Easter break.
“We want the pump price to be N168 per litre. We were able to prove our point about three weeks ago when we suggested alternatives to the government team, which was led by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustapha.
“We presented some cost cutting measures to the government which will make N168 per litre realistic. We have rejected N202 or N206 per litre. We are waiting for the resumption of talks after the Easter break.”
Dr. Chris Ngige said last night: “We agreed to resume talks after the Easter break about one month ago when we met.
“We have not given them any figure of pump price. They are however aware of the landing cost of the Premium Motor Spirit as presented by the NNPC.”
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), at midnight last Thursday, published a new price regime for Premium Motor Spirit.
It said with the new template, fuel was expected to sell at N209.61 and at an upper retail price of N212.61. But it pulled down the new template after an outcry.

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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Labour Warns FG Against Electricity Tariff Hike 

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The Nigeria Labour Congress faulted plans to allegedly sell the Transmission Company of Nigeria, saying it will lead to an increase in electricity tariff.

The NLC President, Mr Ayuba Wabba, said this in a statement titled, “This Kite will not Fly’’ on Friday.

Wabba explained that instead of allegedly planning to sell the transmission company, FG should focus on improving the electricity supply.

He described the attempt to hand over the TCN to a few ‘privileged’ Nigerians as self-serving, obtuse, odious, morally reprehensible and criminal.

The NLC president said, “The TCN is a strategic economic asset of immense national security implications. This is because the TCN traverses all nooks and crannies of Nigeria.

“It will be wrong that our country will be deliberately exposed to an avoidable vulnerability and thus, provide an opportunity to others to restrain the Nigerian state.

“We apprehend that the planned sale of the TCN is only an attempt to further confound the people and concurrently raise electricity tariff. Unfortunately, this time around, Nigerians have had enough.

“The government cannot promise improved power supply to consumers by the planned sale of TCN. The under-the-table scheming as transparent privatisation cannot pass muster.

“It is an unsavoury narrative for our country, that even the privatised assets, which have survived the rapacity of the new owners, have been turned into unrealisable collaterals for unpayable loans.

“This constitutes a bone stuck in the throat of financial institutions and sundry creditors.”

Wabba explained that the plan would “fundamentally weaken the security of the nation and above all, deprive the people of their age-old investments in the commanding heights of the Nigerian economy”.

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FG To Consider Death Penalty For Rail Vandals – Amaechi

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The federal government says it may consider a death penalty for vandals of critical railway equipment in the country.

Rotimi Ameachi, minister of transportation, stated this on Monday, during a town hall meeting on “protecting public infrastructure” in Abuja.

On May 8, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) announced the arrest of two persons suspected of vandalising rail tracks along the Kaduna-Zaria rail line.

Few days later, suspected vandals were arrested for destroying and carting away tracks and rail rods laid on a section of the Warri-Itakpe rail line.

On May 16, the Kaduna state police command said it arrested five suspected rail-trail vandals at Dalle Village of Jema’a LGA and recovered two trucks loaded with locomotive railway sleepers.

After the Warri-Itakpe incident, the senate asked the federal government and security agencies to ensure that those caught vandalising rail lines across Nigeria are given maximum punishment without a fine.

”I am not quantifying the material cost; what I am quantifying is the lives that will be lost,” Ameachi said at the town hall meeting.

“Imagine that a driver of a rail track is driving and suddenly bumps into a track that has been severed, what happens? It will derail.

“If it derails, can you quantify how many passengers that would have died in the course of one man thinking he is making money?

”Some people have recommended that since these people are killing people, if an accident happens people will die, so we should go back to the National Assembly and pass a law that does not only criminalise the action but consequences should be death.”

The minister also said track vandalism is carried out in collaboration with foreign partners.

”In Jos, they arrested a Chinese company that bought those tracks from them, went to court and found them guilty and fined them N200, 000. So there must be consequences as N200,000 is not enough,” he added.

“Lagos and the Western District recorded one, North Western 31, Northern District 10, North Eastern 43, Eastern 36 and North Central 50 incidents of vandalism. Abuja-Kaduna has 13, Warri-Itakpe 2 and Lagos -Ibadan nill.”

Amaechi, who frowned at traders selling items on railway tracks, especially in Port Harcourt and Lagos, advised individuals engaging in the practice to desist or face the penalties.

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