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NNPC To Discontinue Crude Swap, Targets Cash Payments For Petrol Imports

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With the removal of subsidy on petrol in the country, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is set to discontinue crude oil swap in favour of cash payments for petrol imports.

To this effect, the company is is winding down crude oil swap contracts with traders and will pay cash for petrol imports as private companies could begin importing petrol as soon as this month, Reuters reports.

This means that NNPC is in the process of ending crude swap contracts with traders. Instead of exchanging crude oil for refined petroleum products, the state-oil company will now make cash payments for petrol imports.

The move is part of President Bola Tinubu’s plans to deregulate the petrol market and reduce the burden on government finances, the statement said.

President Bola Tinubu on Monday during his inauguration announced that “subsidy is gone” sending the market into a tailspin as those who had the products quickly shut their pumps and long queues emerged across the nation.

NNPC has been importing petrol from consortiums of foreign and local trading firms and repaying them with crude oil via what is known as Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) contracts since 2016 because it does not have enough cash to pay for the purchases, the statement said.

“In the last four months, we practically terminated all DSDP contracts. And we now have an arm’s-length process where we can pay cash for the imports,” Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer, NNPC told Reuters in an interview late on Saturday.

“This is the first time NNPC has said it is terminating crude swap contracts. By importing less gasoline as private companies import the bulk, NNPC will be able to pay for its purchases in cash.”

Nigeria is Africa’s biggest crude producer but imports most of its refined products after running down its refineries. Nigeria’s petrol import bill hit N5.2 trillion in 2022, the highest in six years, as the quest by the country to wean itself off imported fuel drags.

A significant drop in oil production last year coupled with high global fuel prices due to the war in Ukraine pushed NNPC’s debt to traders higher. It owed the consortiums about $2 billion, a September 2022 NNPC report to the Federation Account Allocation Committee shows, the statement said.

“An industry source with direct knowledge of the matter said NNPC was still allocating crude for fuel swaps for July loading, though less than in previous months. In its report detailing March crude oil loadings, NNPC also allocated crude to the swap contracts held by the consortiums,” Reuters said.

 

Kyari told Reuters that NNPC’s monopoly on petrol supplies was ending and private firms could start importing as early as this month.

“Nigeria’s total crude and condensate output was at 1.56 million barrels a day (bpd) as of Friday. Nigeria has struggled to meet its Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil quota of 1.742 million bpd due to grand oil theft and illegal refining,” Kyari said.

That has raised doubts on whether Nigeria can meet supplies for the 650,000-bpd newly commissioned Dangote Refinery. NNPC has a contract to supply 300,000 bpd to the refinery.

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Unknown Gunmen Abduct Channelstv Reporter In Port-harcourt

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Some unknown gunmen have kidnapped Joshua Rogers, the ChannelsTV reporter in Port-Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.

Politics Nigeria learnt that Rogers was picked up close to his residence at Rumuosi in Port Harcourt and to an unknown destination by the gunmen around 9pm on Thursday, April 11.

The reporter was driving his official ChannelsTV branded car when the hoodlums accosted, pointed a gun at him and took him away in the same vehicle.

 

Rogers was said to be returning from his official assignment in Government House after a trip to Andoni for a government event when the incident happened.

Already, the gunmen were said to have contacted his wife and demanded a N30million ransom for bis release.

His cameraman confirmed the incident and appealed to his abductors to set him free unconditionally.

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Lassa Fever Kills 150 In Nigeria — NCDC

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According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (NCDC), 150 people died from Lassa virus in 125 local government areas throughout 27 states in the federation between January and March 2024.

The NCDC reported that the deaths were recorded with a case fatality rate (CFR) of 18.6% overall from week one to week thirteen, 2024. This is higher than the CFR for the same time in 2023 (17.5%).

In its Lassa Fever Situation Report Epi Week 13, which was released on March 25–31, 2024, the agency revealed that 806 of the 5,295 suspected cases that were recorded were confirmed. Eyes Of Lagos reports,

According to the report, in week 13, the number of new confirmed cases decreased from 25 in Epi week 12, 2024 to 15. These cases were reported in Ondo, Bauchi, Plateau and Edo states.

 

In total for 2024, 27 states have recorded at least one confirmed case across 125 LGAs, even as 62 percent of all confirmed Lassa fever cases were reported from Ondo, Edo, and Bauchi states, while 38 percent of cases were reported from 24 states with confirmed Lassa fever cases.

Of the 62 percent confirmed cases, the NCDC said Ondo reported 24 percent, Edo 22 percent, and Bauchi 16 percent. The predominant age group affected is 31-40 years (Range: 1 to 98 years, Median Age: 32years), with a male-to-female ratio for confirmed cases of 1:1.

From the report, the number of suspected cases (5,295) increased compared to that reported for the same period in 2023 (4,338).

The agency confirmed that the National Lassa fever multi-partner, multi-sectoral Incident Management System has been activated to coordinate response at all levels at the Emergency Operations Centre, EOC.

No new healthcare worker was affected in the reporting week 13, the report noted.

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