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Diesel Price Hits N950/Litre, Manufacturers Fear Shutdowns, Job Losses




Oil marketers, on Monday, said the foreign exchange crisis in Nigeria and the recent implementation of a 7.5 per cent Value Added Tax on Automotive Gas Oil, popularly called diesel, had pushed up the cost of the commodity to between N900 and N950/litre in many states.

The development has made local manufacturers say that the situation may lead to the closure of some factories and job losses.

Speaking under the aegis of the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria at a press briefing in Abuja, the marketers explained that their inability to access the United States dollars was impeding their ability to import diesel.

The National President, NOGASA, Benneth Korie, told journalists that the cost of diesel was around N650/litre before the Federal Government introduced a 7.5 per cent VAT on the commodity.

On June 20, 2023, The PUNCH reported that the Federal Government had commenced the implementation of the payment of 7.5 per cent VAT on diesel.

Officials of the Nigeria Customs Service and Federal Inland Revenue Service had confirmed this in Abuja, stressing that AGO was not exempted from the payment of VAT based on the VAT Modification Order 2021.

Speaking at the press briefing on Monday, the NOGASA president said, “Diesel price is now approaching N900 to N950/litre depending on where you are buying it from. Before the introduction of VAT on diesel by the FIRS, diesel was around N650/litre.

“This increase in price is also due to the scarcity of the dollars. The government has to intervene in this dollar situation. All bank CEOs, Central Bank of Nigeria and others must meet to address this dollar issue. The way it is going, it will destroy a lot of things for us if it is not controlled.”

Korie also called on President Bola Tinubu to get Nigeria’s refineries working. He said the pressure by marketers and other importers on dollars would reduce when Nigeria’s refineries start to pump out refined products.

“Our refineries were built by human beings and can be fixed by human beings. I believe Nigerian engineers can fix these refineries, instead of us depending on imports. This is not sustainable.

“We are pilling pressure on the very limited dollars in the country by importing petroleum products and other commodities. But once our refineries start working, this pressure will drastically reduce. The government has to fix our refineries,” he stated.

The NOGASA president also decried the state of Nigerian roads, as he gave an instance with the Port Harcourt-Warri road, stressing that about 500 tankers were currently trapped on that road due to its abysmal nature.

“For two weeks now our tankers have been on that road; you can’t cross it. Our roads are bad, our trucks trapped on the Warri-Abuja road for two weeks, our drivers are kidnapped, killes, while others suffer.

“Some of the roads are blocked. If the government does not fix those roads, then petroleum products will stop coming to Abuja and other locations across the country,” Korie stated.

Manufacturers lament hike

Meanwhile, reacting on the development, the Director-General of the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association, Hamma Kwajaffa, said several textile manufacturers were contemplating to shut down their  operations owing to rising costs, largely caused by skyrocketing energy costs.

The DG said textile manufacturers could not afford to buy diesel at the projected price of _

He said, “Many are contemplating closing for now. We can’t meet up with that kind of amount. We have less than 24 textiles today, those who are working are contemplating closure. They have been pushed to the wall. These businesses are not in charity. They have to break even.

In the same vein, the Chief Executive Officer of Coleman Technical Industries Limited, George Onafowokan said increased diesel costs implied increased cost of production for the company.

He urged the government to find lasting solutions to the constant increase in diesel costs.

Onafowokan said, “Whenever the price of diesel goes up, it makes everybody’s cost go up. Logistics costs will go up for everybody, power costs will go up if diesel sells at N950.

“We are all in crisis. For most businesses in Nigeria, especially manufacturers, we are taking hits day in day out and sincerely, the government needs to do better not only in giving palliatives to the people, but for the businesses that are employing them, especially manufacturers.”


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Trinity Biotech’s MD Escaped Arrest Over $9.6bn Fraud – EFCC Witness



A prosecution witness in the trial of $9.6billion Process and Industrial Development Limited, P&ID, fraud, Umar Hussein Babangida, has revealed how the managing director of Trinity Biotech Nigeria Limited, Patrick Nash a.k.a Gerald Nash escaped being arrested.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in a statement said Babangida told Justice D.O Okorowo of a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja that efforts made to bring Nash to trial proved abortive after he had fled Nigeria before he could be arrested.

“My team visited the office of Trinity Biotech Nigeria Limited, located on the 1st floor, Oyo State House, Ralph Shodende Street, Abuja where efforts were made to trace the Managing Director, whose name is Patrick Nash, also known as Gerald Nash, an Irish, but we were informed by the company`s directors, Ibrahim Millar and Uzor Eneli that he has long left the country”, he said.

Babangida also told the defence counsel, Michael Ajara, under cross-examination that he headed the team that investigated the matter.

The prosecution witness further said that the investigation was prompted by a petition from the office of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

He added that the petition was owing to a judgment against the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the tune of $9.6bn in favour of P&ID company.

“My team and I interacted with the Federal Ministry of Petroleum to aid our investigation,” Babangida said.

“We also relied on responses from the Corporate Affairs Commission, C.A.C, where requests were made on the name of the company, names and addresses of shareholders, changes and information available with them which they provided with proof of documents.

“We further got a written reply from the Special Control Unit Against Money Laundering, SCUML to aid the investigation.”

Babangida further stated that the team invited and interrogated the two directors of Trinity Biotech Ltd identified as Millar and Eneli whose statements were taken voluntarily.

Justice Okorowo adjourned the matter till 20 and 21 November 2023 for continuation of hearing.


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Troops Rescue 6 Gusau Varsity Female Students From Kidnappers



Operatives of the Joint Task Force, Operation Hadarin-Daji, have rescued six of the female students of Federal University, Gusau, Zamfara State, abducted in the early hours of today, Friday.

Force Information Officer, Operation Hadarin-Daji, Captain Ibrahim Yahaya, confirmed this to the newsmen on Friday in Gusau.

The rescue operation followed the abduction of an unspecified number of female students from their off-campus hostels at Sabon-Gida, few meters away from the university.
Yahaya said that the troops pursued the abductors who took the students, mostly females, to the forest.

He said that the troops engaged the abductors in a gun duel, supported by the air component of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), and rescued six of the students.

Yahaya further stated that several bandits were neutralised during the rescue effort which, he said, was still ongoing.

“The troops also recovered one AK-47, a magazine, four motorcycles and one communication gadget from the terrorists,” the officer said.

NAN reports that the institution’s students had, in June, protested the spate of abductions of their schoolmates residing in Sabon-Gida and Damba communities.

The two communities are opposite the main campus of the university, which is about 20km from Gusau, the state capital.

Efforts to speak with the school authorities on the incident proved abortive, as the institution’s


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God Ordained Tinubu Presidency; Some Politicians Better Than Us – Shettima



Vice-President Kashim Shettima says God ordained Bola Tinubu’s emergence as president of Nigeria. Mr Shettima admitted that though he and his principal are the two most powerful men in the country, some individuals are better than them.

“We do not occupy our positions because of our physical prowess and certainly not because of our pedigree; there are people of superior pedigree than us,” stated Mr Shettima. “It is a gift from God and a call to serve humanity for a very short span of time.”

The vice-president reiterated Mr Tinubu’s commitment to improving Nigerians’ livelihood and the country’s fortunes.

“I always believe that power is a humbling experience. We spend more of our lives outside power than in power, and, most importantly, I see it as a gift from God,” Mr Shettima added. “Asiwaju and I are occupying the prime positions in this country, not because of our intellectual acumen or political sagacity but purely by the grace of God.”

Mr Shettima stated this when he hosted the University of Ibadan Postgraduate School alumni, according to a statement by his media, Stanley Nkwocha. The delegation also included members of the 1989/1990 set of the National Youth Service Corps with whom he served in Calabar.

“And the impact we make in the lives of our people will determine our positions here and in the hereafter. So, to me, it is a humbling experience; it is an opportunity to add value to a great nation like ours,” said the vice-president. “More so, Nigeria’s anticipated demographic bulge suggests we improve the quality of governance in the bid to mitigate any looming demographic disaster.”


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