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FG Sets to Shutdown Unlicensed Fuel Marketers From June 1

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The Federal Government FG, on Monday, announced that no unlicensed petroleum product dealer would be allowed to load products from June 1, 2023, as it vowed to shut down such businesses beginning from that day.

It warned that from June 1, 2023, anyone who wants to deal on petroleum products must obtain a license, stressing that “no license, no loading of any petroleum product.”

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The government gave the warning in Abuja through the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority at a stakeholders’ engagement on gas utilisation in Nigeria.

The objective of the engagement was to enlighten operators on the need to urgently obtain the requisite petroleum storage licence and to engender the transition from white products to gas.

“No licence, no loading. We still have like nine days to do the right thing and comply. As the scripture says, obedience is better than sacrifice. As a regulator we prefer that people comply so that it doesn’t have adverse effects on your businesses.

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“If there is no compliance, we can assure you from the authority that from 1st of June, there will be no licence, no loading. Any depot, any licensed operator who supplies petroleum products to an unlicensed facility, we will shut down that operator,” the Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage and Retailing Infrastructure, NMDPRA, Ogbugo Ukoha, stated.

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He added, “I want to make a special appeal that anybody who wants to handle petroleum products in excess of 500-litre storage, is required to obtain a licence. Our licensing procedure includes going through what your equipment is, the distance, hazards, procedures and everything.”

Ukoha encouraged the operators to also take advantage of the evolving opportunities in the gas value chain, by positioning their energy needs to embrace gas derivatives.

He outlined the derivatives to include Liquefied Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas, Compressed Natural Gas, Autogas, propane and butane, adding that investing in these would help hedge against future global uncertainties that could arise from the supply of petrol and diesel.

Okoha said the authority’s 12 gazetted regulations had defined the licensing regime, procedures and standards for handling petroleum products, which when breached posed increased risks.

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Earlier, the authority’s Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ahmed, said the Federal Government had put in place various initiatives and policy frameworks including the National Gas Expansion Programme and the Decade of Gas Programme to deepen the use of gas in Nigeria.

“It is our hope that this engagement will create the necessary awareness and make the compelling case for industry operators to foster a compliance culture, which alone guarantees safer and sustainable facilities,” Faouk, who was represented by the Executive Director, Health, Safety, Environment and Community, NMDPRA, Mustapha Lamorde, stated.

He explained that the Midstream and Downstream Gas Infrastructure Fund, as contained in the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, would catalyse gas investments, adding that efforts being made in gas expansion were currently yielding results, though more collaborations were needed to improve domestic gas utilisation.

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Benin pipeline dispute: Niger stops oil exports to China

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Benin pipeline dispute: Niger stops oil exports to China

Niger has stopped exporting oil to China through its pipeline to Benin’s coast.

Oil Minister, Mahamane Moustapha Bako, disclosed this on Thursday, escalating an ongoing standoff between the West African neighbours.

Also read:Oil earnings rise by N450bn in two months, says FG

At the Agadem oilfield in eastern Niger, Bako supervised the shutdown of a section of the 2,000-km (1,243-mile) pipeline, which was meant to transport oil to China as part of a $400 million agreement with China National Petroleum Corp, according to Africabriefing.

Relations between Niger and Benin have been tense since May when Benin blocked crude exports through its port, insisting that Niger’s junta reopen the border to Beninese goods and restore normal relations.

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Earlier in the month, Benin authorities detained five Niger nationals for allegedly entering the Seme-Kpodji pipeline terminal under false pretenses—a charge Niger rejected, stating the group was supervising crude loading per their agreement with Benin.

“We can’t just sit back while our oil is stolen by other people, because we’re not there where it’s loaded,” Minister Barke Bako told workers, justifying the halt in oil flows, according to a state television broadcast.

Tensions stem from a coup in Niger in July 2023, which prompted the regional bloc ECOWAS to impose strict sanctions for over six months. Although trade was expected to normalize after ECOWAS lifted the sanctions, Niger has continued to keep its borders closed to goods from Benin.

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Naira Falls to N1,476.24/$1 at Official Market

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The Naira performed badly against the United States Dollar in the in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEX) after resumption of trading activities following the Democracy Day holiday observed on Wednesday.

Yesterday, the value of the Naira weakened by 0.17 per cent or N2.58 to sell at N1,476.24/$1, in contrast to Tuesday’s closing price of N1,473.66/$1.

Also read: Dollar supply rises to $11bn, naira closes 1,572/$

However, the local currency appreciated against the Pound Sterling in the official market during the session by N7.23 to wrap the session at N1,876.39/£1 versus the preceding session’s N1,883.62/£1 and against the Euro, it gained N11.84 to trade at N1,580.19/€1 versus N1,592.03/€1.

The mixed trading outcome happened as FX supply to the spot market depreciated by 75.9 per cent or $239.23 million to $92.68 million from the $385.91 million recorded in the preceding session.

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In the black market, the domestic currency depreciated against the American currency during the trading day by N10 to settle at N1,490/$1, in contrast to the preceding session’s rate of N1,480/$1.

Meanwhile, in the cryptocurrency market, the benchmarked tokens recorded depreciation as the US Producer Price Index (PPI) print for May came in lower than expectations across the board, showing inflation to be losing steam. Technically a positive sign for risk assets and crypto, the latter offered a cool reaction to PPI.

Solana (SOL) slumped by 4.6 per cent to trade at $148.06, Cardano (ADA) dropped 3.5 per cent to close at $0.4226, Binance Coin (BNB) went south by 2.9 per cent to finish at $601.18, and Dogecoin (DOGE) recorded a value depreciation of 2.6 per cent to sell at $0.1419.

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In addition, Ethereum (ETH) slid by 2.4 per cent to finish at $3,481.39, Ripple (XRP) fell by 2.3 per cent to settle at $0.4794, and Bitcoin (BTC) recorded a 2.1 per cent loss to sell for $66,926.75.

However, Litecoin (LTC) recorded a 0.9 per cent rise to close at $79.23, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and the US Dollar Coin (USDC) remained unchanged at $1.00 each.

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Oil mafia tried to stop our refinery, says Dangote

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The founder of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has revealed that both local and international criminal organisations, which he described as “mafia”, made repeated attempts to sabotage his $19bn refinery project located in Lagos.

Speaking at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings, Dangote likened the oil cartels to a mafia stronger than the drug mafia hell-bent on maintaining their grip on the industry.

 

Also read: Dangote refinery gets valid operating licence soon – FG

 

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“Well, I knew that there would be a fight. But I didn’t know that the mafia in oil, they are stronger than the mafia in drugs. I can tell you that. Yes, it’s a fact,” he said.

Dangote, who described himself as a fighter, said they “tried all sorts” to stop him.

“But I’m a person that has been fighting all my life. You know, so I think it’s part of my life to fight,” he said.

He added, “As a matter of fact during the COVID period, some of the international banks really were looking forward to making sure that they push us into default of our loans so that the project will just be dead. And that didn’t happen with the help of banks like Afreximbank.”

Theheute reports that Dangote also revealed that he has paid off $2.4bn of the $5.5bn borrowed for the Lagos-based refinery.

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Dangote also unveiled plans to diversify into the steel sector, aiming to utilise solely Nigerian-produced steel and achieve self-sufficiency.

Dangote Refinery recently rescheduled the launch of its petrol sales to July 10-15, pushing back its initial June target due to “minor” logistical issues.

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