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Tanker drivers threaten to stop lifting petrol from Monday

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has vowed to suspend operations on Monday, Feb. 19.

The National president of the association, Alhaji Yusuf Lawal Othman, disclosed this in a press statement he issued from Abuja.

Othman said the statement is an official announcement from the association’s headquarters that the members are parking their trucks from Monday due to high operating costs.

Giving a reason for this decision, Othman said: “Why? Because what we spend on operation is more than what we get in total: both in local and bridging.”

He added that the members have been operating at a loss and it is no longer sustainable for them to endure the losses.

The NARTO national president said, “We will have to suspend operations from Monday.

“We cannot continue to operate at a loss. Most people have parked. A lot more are going to park.

“But from the point of view of the association itself, we are going to suspend operations on Monday.”

He disclosed that NARTO’s efforts at soliciting the intervention of all the key stakeholders in the federal government and industry have not yielded positive results.

Othman revealed that the association has written letters to table the plight of unbearable cost of operation to the chief of staff to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu; minister of Petroleum Resources; director general, Department of State Services (DSS); Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) chief executive officer; Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) group chief executive officer; and the marketers.

He stressed that despite the notification to the above stakeholders, “No response.”

Analysing the market situation, which the members have endured for several months, he recalled that the same freight rate that was in force while President Muhammadu Buhari was in government is still subsisting.

According to him, the N32 Lagos to Abuja freight rate that was implemented while the dollar was N650 is still retained now that dollar is N1,615.

He said, “Everybody is aware that all our consumables in terms of operation are not produced in the country.

“So, by virtue of the rate of dollars, every consumable has increased. But the freight they are paying us has been the same even during Buhari’s time.

“So how is that feasible? During Buhari’s time, the dollar was N650. Today, the dollar is now N1,615. The average freight from Lagos to Abuja is N32.”

He continued: “What I mean by local, you load Lagos, you discharge in Lagos. And bridging, you load from Lagos, you come to Abuja. Lagos to Lagos, we are paid N120,000.

“AGO alone to distribute fuel within Lagos is N140,000 because it is N1,400 per litre. So, they give you N120,000 and you spend N140,000. So, how do you want to operate?

“Talk less about the cost of vehicles, cost of loading, driver’s allowance. That is for local. For bridging Lagos to Abuja, they gave us N32.

“If you have a truck of 40,000 litres, you are talking of N1,280,000-N1,216,000. Less 5% of the amount of N1,280,000 Withholding Tax N64,000. Less 55,000 loading expenses and 15,000 driver allowance. Total expenses N134,000 while balance is N1,146,000. AGO is N1400 for 900 litres, totalling N1260,000. There is a total loss of N114,000.

“The diesel that you use from Lagos to Abuja is 900 litres.

“So when you use 900 litres at 1,400, that will be N1,260,000. So it is by far more than what is paid.

“Meanwhile the cost of a new truck head and tank is N95 million and the used one is N50 million. So imagine the amount invested on each truck?”

 

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35 illegal tax collectors facing prosecution in Benue

The Acting Chairman of the Benue State Internal Revenue Service (BIRS), Emmanuel Agena, has revealed that 35 persons involved in illegal tax collection in the state are currently facing prosecution.

Agena announced that the agency has set an ambitious target to generate over N16 billion in revenue for the year 2024 following the successful surpassing of its N14 billion target in 2023.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Agena expressed concern over the activities of illegal tax collectors in the state, noting that many of them were supported by influential personalities.

He stated that his administration at the BIRS had put an end to the era of patronage by politicians, aiming to significantly reduce illegal tax collection activities.

The BIRS boss also condemned a recent incident in which a truck carrying palliatives from Adamawa to Anambra State was hijacked by youths in Aliade, Gwer East.

He disclosed that three suspects have been arrested in connection with the incident.

“A truck was intercepted and the driver beaten while the windscreen of the vehicle broken and over N200,000 was stolen.

“Three persons have been arrested and are in police custody. They will be moved to DSS for thorough investigation.

“We aim to flush out or reduce illegal tax collectors to the barest minimum. Already, 35 people who engaged in illegal tax collection were arrested and facing prosecution.

“This has been a big challenge. We have constituted a team headed by the director of Tax collection. Prominent people in the state are involved in encouraging these boys,” he stated.

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Nigeria’s Inflation rate hits 33.20% in March- NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics NBS says Nigeria’s inflation rate jumped to 33.20% in March 2024 compared to February 2024 headline inflation rate which was 31.70%.

A report released by the NBS on Monday, April 15, reads

“Looking at the movement, the March 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 1.50% points when compared to the February 2024 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.16% points higher compared to the rate recorded in March 2023, which was 22.04%. On a month-on-month basis, the headline inflation rate in March 2024 was 3.02%, which was 0.10% lower than the rate recorded in February 2024 (3.12%).

“This means that in the month of March 2024, the rate of increase in the average price level is less than the rate of increase in the average price level in February 2024.”

 

The inflation report by the NBS followed the hike of Nigeria’s interest rate from 22.75% to 24.75% by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The March inflation rate was released at a time when measures by the apex bank to strenghten the naira against foreign exchange have seen some positive results.

The naira has appreciated against the dollar in recent weeks, gaining over 40%, from about N1,900/$ to about N1,100/$1 now.

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NAFDAC seals popular Supermarket in Ibadan

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) has sealed a popular groceries and cosmetics supermarket, Pinnacle in Dugbe area of Ibadan over sale of fake products.

The supermarket, usually a beehive of activities was now a shadow of itself as the gate leading to the premises was shut with an inscription directing customers to its branch at Challenge.

Management of the supermarket cited technical issues as reason for its closure.

An inside source who pleaded for anonymity however revealed that problem started on Tuesday, 2nd April , 2024 when NAFDAC surveillance team stormed the mall to enforce total shutdown of the premises, thereby forcing shoppers out of the supermarket.

“The NAFDAC team came inside the mall and told us to close, even though people were many inside who wanted to do shopping but they couldn’t because the technical issue started and they all went away in disappointment”, the source said.

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