12 May

Daily Watch – Petrol prices hit a new ceiling, Oyo suspends salaries of 16k workers

  • Nigeria has announced that the price of petrol will go up at N145 per litre as a result of the current fuel scarcity and supply difficulties in the country. According to Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum resources, subject to meeting the minimum standards, any Nigerian is free to import the product and sell at a price not higher than N145 per litre. The announcement came less than 24 hours after Kachikwu announced that a new subsidy policy will soon be unveiled. “The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) will be announcing a new price band effective today, 11th May, 2016 and that the new price for PMS will not be above N145 per litre,” Kachikwu said, and added that the decision was reached at a meeting with the leadership of the senate, house of representatives, governors forum and the labour unions.
  • In a quick reaction which went contrary to government’s claims that the organized labour was part of the agreement for the total removal of fuel subsidy, the NLC described the price increase as “an act of insensitivity and impunity”. Speaking through its General-Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, the labour union condemned the increase, and said that it would have an emergency meeting on Friday. It then asked all affiliated unions to start preparing towards mobilization.
  • Shell has declared force majeure on exports of Bonny Light, Nigeria’s reference crude oil grade. The force majeure took effect by 12pm on Tuesday, May 10, 2016. According to Bamidele Odugbesan, Shell’s spokesman, the decision came as a result of a leak that led to the closure of Nembe Creek Trunk line for repairs by the operator, Aiteo Eastern E & P Company Ltd. Shell had in February declared force majeure on liftings from the Forcados export terminal, following the disruption in production caused by the spill on its subsea crude export pipeline. This latest force majeure affects 400,00 barrels of crude oil production per day.
  • The Nigerian Navy says it has successfully foiled an attack by sea pirates on three merchant vessels in Bayelsa State. Navy spokesman, Commodore Christain Ezekobe, said the vessels, MV Moxon, MT African Beauty, and MT Madonna, were attacked around Brass waterways on May 3 and 4, 2016. He also added that in a related development, naval patrol from the NNS pathfinder has destroyed two illegal refineries located at the NAFCON creek in Rivers State.
  • The Oyo State governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has announced the suspension of the salaries of 16,532 workers. The state employs 100,259 people. The state claims that this development is a fallout of the ongoing state employee verification exercise aimed at eliminating fraud and errors in the payment of salaries, wages and pensions as well as to determine ghost workers in the state civil service. NIBSS, which was engaged to ensure non-interference and bias, had submitted a report with far reaching discoveries of certificate entry and age falsification, receiving double salaries, and general inconsistencies in the government staffing records. The state government announced that the affected workers are those currently having issues ‘requiring further clarifications’. This has triggered fears of a major labour industrial crisis between the state government and the workers.