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Return Cooking Gas Price To How You Met It In 2015, Group Tells Buhari

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Civil rights advocacy group, Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to return the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas popularly called cooking gas to how he met it in May 2015 when he assumed office.

National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwubiko, made this known in a chat with The PUNCH on Saturday.

According to Onwubiko, Nigerians have nothing to jubilate or rejoice over about the recent marginal drop in the cost of cooking gas.

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According to PUNCH findings, the price of 12.5kg LPG has dropped from N8,800 to between N8400 and N8200. In some outlets, the price of the commodity dropped to between N7,800 and N8,000 as of Thursday.

READ ALSO: Cooking Gas Price Drops, Supply Rises, Govt Projects Further Decrease

The product had increased by 240 per cent for 12.5kg, moving up from N3,000 to N10,200 within the first 10 months of 2021.

The development forced some LPG users to shift to charcoal or firewood, as consumers of the commodity raised the alarm over the persistent hike in its price.

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The Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Office of the Vice President, Dayo Adeshina, had said the Federal Government was putting measures in place to ensure further reduction in the cost of cooking gas.

Cooking Gas Depot Price drop
However, in a chat with our correspondent on Saturday, the HURIWA coordinator said the marginal reduction (less than N1,000) in the price of cooking gas is not substantial.

Onwubiko said, “The failure of the relevant governmental bodies to regulate the pricing of gas assets in Nigeria is a recipe for encouraging the ballooning poverty situations that we have witnessed since 2015 that President Muhammadu Buhari has operated economic policy frameworks devoid of progressive mechanisms.

“Government lacks the requisite political will, sincerity of purpose and commitments to do the needful to ensure that millions of homes in Nigeria are not subjected to economic ordeals just so they can get gas to power the preparations of their foods and other essential services domestically and otherwise.

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“High costs of gas has led to the closure of many restaurants and small businesses thereby increasing unemployment rates in Nigeria. The high cost of gas has affected the green environment and this shows that this government is hypocritical when it mouths her readiness to take remedial steps to halt the consequences of climate change.

“All those international trips costing the taxpayers billions of naira by the President and retinue of ministers to attend climate change-related global summits without taking local steps to check unaffordable costs of gas resources in Nigeria is cosmetic and hypocritical.”

READ ALSO: Cooking Gas Price Jumps By 240% As Marketers Halt Imports

When asked whether it would be better for Buhari to return the price of cooking gas to what it was in 2015, Onwubiko said, “Yes, but this government is unrepentantly incompetent.”

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“The government derives satisfaction in imposing outrageous and satanic economic policies on Nigerians. This is even why the government has decided to tax us more for drinking soft drinks even when wives of politically exposed officials buy champagnes and expensive wines at public costs for their own enjoyment in their cocoons,” he added

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FG’s January Bonds Oversubscribed By N175bn –DMO

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DG, Debt Management Office, Patience Oniha

The Federal Government’s bonds for January worth N150bn, which were auctioned on January 19, were oversubscribed by N175.24bn, the Debt Management Office has said.

The DMO said on Friday the total subscription received from investors was N325.24bn.

It said a subscription of N11.19bn was received for the 12.50 per cent FGN January 2026 bonds and N214.05bn for the 13 per cent FGN January 2042 bonds, which recorded the highest subscription.

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The debt office said a total of N170.64bn was allotted, comprising N81.72bn and N88.92bn.

It said, “Successful bids for the 12.50 per cent FGN January 2026 and 13 per cent FGN January 2042 were allotted at the Marginal Rates of 11.50 per cent and 13 per cent, respectively.

“However, the original coupon rates of 12.5000 per cent for the 12.5000 per cent FGN January 2026 will be maintained, while the coupon rate for the 13 per cent FGN January 2042 (New Issue) is set at 13 per cent.”

READ ALSO: Nigeria’s Debt Vulnerable, Costly, Alerts World Bank

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The DMO had earlier released its bond issuance calendar for the first quarter of 2022, which the auction dates being January 19, February 16, and March 23.

The Federal Government planned to acquire about N480bn in new debt capital from the domestic capital market in Q1 2022, according to its bond issuance calendar.

(PUNCH)

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Govt Moves To Revive Few Moribund Ports

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The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council are set to revive six moribund ports whose contracts were signed in 2006.

To commence the process, ICRC on Wednesday held a meeting with NSC, which is the owner of the projects, and the concessionaires, according to a statement.

The purpose of the meeting was to get the six inland container depots located in each of the geopolitical zones of Nigeria to become operational.

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The statement quoted the commission’s acting Director-General, Mr. Mike Ohiani, as saying that when completed, these ICDs would bring the required benefit to the country Nigeria.

We are not unaware that at the material time that the contracts were signed, ICRC as a commission had not been set up, so no proper outline business cases were done for the projects like we now do, but I want us to have a frank discussion so that we can chart a way forward,” he said.

The commission reminded the concessionaires and that NSC that by its Act, it is to take custody of all PPP contracts including the ones for the ICDs.

READ ALSO: Corps Member Trains 16 Youths On Electrical Installation

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The states where the ports are located and the level of progress by the concessionaires were listed as Oyo State (10 per cent), Abia State (five per cent), Plateau State (29.7 per cent), Kano State (55 per cent), Katsina State (68 per cent) and Borno State (five per cent).

According to the statement, the concessionaires told the ICRC that the 16 years’ journey had been fraught with various challenges that had hampered any progress that could have been recorded.

It said the concessionaires complained of poor cooperation from state governments, which they said mostly delay in meeting their own part of the agreement, citing land provision as an example.

They said another major challenge was the lack of narrow gauge rail lines in and out of the dry ports, which they noted was important to make the operation of the ports efficient.

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They added that access to funds also remained a major issue as banks and foreign investors made unreasonable demands for assets and bank bonds before the release of funds.

The concessionaires unanimously stressed the need for the ports being constructed to be given the status of port of origin and destination and also to be registered with the International Chamber of Commerce upon completion.

(PUNCH)

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NDE Disburses N9.3m Loan To 93 Farmers In Bauchi

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The National Directorate of Employment (NDE), says it has disbursed N9.3 million to 93 small holder farmers to boost animal and crop production in Bauchi State.

Mr Mbata Michael, Director, Rural Employment Promotion Department, NDE Headquarters, disclosed this at a 5-day agricultural extension training for the beneficiaries, on Thursday in Bauchi.

Michael, represented by Mr Farouk Farouk, Senior Rural Employment Promotion Officer, said that each of the beneficiaries received N100,000 loan to increase their productions.

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He said that the facility was part of programmes initiated by the Director-General of NDE, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, to encourage crop and animal productions.

“The facility has a six months moratorium period before commencement of repayment and it will be repaid within 30 months.

“It is designed for farmers in different areas, those in commercial farming trying to sustain their businesses and those who are likely to start up agricultural businesses.

“Many of them are doing one or two things in agriculture and the money is to augment their businesses,” he said.

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READ ALSO: NDE Distributes Starter Packs To 20 Trainees In Bauchi

The director urged the beneficiaries to ensure effective utilisation of the facility to expand their businesses.

One of the beneficiaries, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, commended the gesture, adding that it would boost crop and livestock production in the state.

Meanwhile, the NDE’s State Coordinator, Mr Lawan Yaya, said the directorate had concluded arrangements to train 50 agricultural extension workers in the 20 local government areas of the state.

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Yaya said the exercise was to complement Federal Government’s efforts towards encouraging agricultural production through improved farmer support services

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