The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has debunked media reports about federal government’s plan to review the pump price of petroleum products, particularly Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), otherwise known as Petrol.
This was made known on Tuesday in a statement by the corporation’s Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs, Ndu Ughamadu.
According to Ughamadu, the federal government has no plan to review prices of the products either upwards or downwards.
The NNPC spokesperson explained that the corporation had been the sole importer of PMS into the country as a result of Open Market Price being much higher than the N145 per litre official selling price.
He warned rumour mongers to desist from spreading false information, adding that such act could negatively impact on the prices of petroleum products especially petrol as the festive period draws near.
He hinted that the misinformation could lead to scarcity and hoarding of the products by consumers, resulting to unwarranted queues at fuel stations.
Ughamadu assured that the strategies being mapped out by NNPC General Managing Director, Maikanti Baru, would ensure that Nigerian have a hitch-free festive season.
Recall that the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, had in May 2016 announced an upward review of PMS pump price by the Federal Government from N86.50 to N145.00, and directed filling stations across the country not to sell the product above the fixed price.
The minister had said the hike was the only way out of the exorbitant prices of N150 to N250 Nigerians were subjected to at many filling stations across the country during yuletide.
Merchant Bank have called on the federal government to stop depending on budgetary allocation to fund the nation’s infrastructure needs. They made this call yesterday in the bank’s weekly insight, noting that the weak revenue generation of the Nigerian government indicates that it is time to actively involve the private sector to fund the nation’s infrastructural gap estimated at USD100 billion annually.
According to them, “adjusting the proposed capital expenditure in 2019 for inflation, it represents a steep decline from the 2018 figure in real terms.
This underscores the need for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) to drive infrastructure development in Nigeria”.
The draft 2019-2021 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper notes that Nigeria faces medium-term fiscal challenges especially with respect to revenue generation.
Data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that Nigeria recorded the lowest revenue to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) among some selected countries, at an average of 11.53 percent between 2008 and 2017.
According to the 2019 budget call circular, FGN revenue is expected to drop by 2.78 percent in 2019. Reflecting on these, the analysts stated: “FSDH Research believes that one of the reasons for the weak revenue generation is inadequate infrastructure in the country. Nigeria can overcome this challenge in the next few years if it adopts one or a combination of the PPP arrangements that are available.
“Critical projects in the Nigerian economy such as road, rail, aviation, housing and power can benefit from PPP arrangements.
Adequate and functional infrastructure will have a multiplier effect on the growth of the economy and should attract investment into the non-oil sector. This would help towards the diversification of the revenue base of the Nigerian economy.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and some companies in the oil and gas sector of the country have failed to remit a total revenue of $22.06 billion and N481.75 billion to the Federation Account.
This is contained in the latest report by the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) on Monday.
The report, which summarises unremitted revenue, losses and unreconciled differences from operations and transactions in the oil and gas sector, indicates that only NNPC defaulted to the tune of $19.04 billion and N424.57 billion.
It further shows that oil and gas producing companies were still withholding $152.69 million and N5.2 billion; companies involved in offshore processing contracts, $498.6 million; and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), $2.38 billion and N51.95 billion.
The report puts the total losses to the federation from crude oil production, processing and transportation at $3.04 billion and N60.99 billion, while unreconciled differences from the allocation, sale and remittance of proceeds from domestic crude allocated to NNPC was put at N317.48 billion.
In July, Ripples Nigeria reports that NNPC failed to remit a total of N198 billion to the Federation Account in 2016, an amount which brought the total under remittance of revenue from domestic crude oil sales by the corporation to over N4 trillion in the year.
“It was observed from the examination of NNPC report to Technical Sub- Committee of Federation Account Allocation Committee meeting held in December 2016 that accumulative total of N4,076,548,336,749.75 remained unremitted to the Federation Account by NNPC as at 31st December 2016.
“The total revenue unremitted as at 1st January 2016 from amounts payable into the Federation Account by NNPC was₦3,878,955,039,855.73. The sum of N1,198,138,355,860.30 was due in revenue to the Federation Account out of the total generated in 2016, however, NNPC paid the sum of N1,000,545,058,966.20 resulting in an amount withheld of N197,593,296,894.02.
“This brought the total amount withheld by NNPC from the Federation Account as at 31 December 2016 to N4,076,548,336,749.75,” the Auditor-General of the Federation, Anthony Ayine, stated in his 2016 annual report.
US President Donald Trump and his children are accused of "deliberately" scamming Americans by encouraging them to invest in a multilevel marketing company, according to a complaint filed in US federal court on Monday.
The complaint accuses Trump and his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric, of luring vulnerable investors to buy into three businesses with "a pattern of racketeering activity," according to The New York Times, which first reported on the lawsuit.
Trump was reportedly paid millions of dollars in exchange for promoting ACN, a telecommunications marketing company; Trump Network, another multilevel marketing company which sold vitamins and health promoting products; and Trump Institute, which allegedly gave "extravagantly priced multiday training seminars."
Some of the payments were made in secret, according to the lawsuit, which also alleges the Trumps "were aware that the vast majority of consumers would lose whatever money they invested."
Trump, who allegedly promoted ACN to investors without disclosing he was being paid, was heard in at least one ACN marketing video describing the company as being on the "cusp of technological advancements that will change the way we communicate."
"I'm here to tell you about a company that provides ... essential components for success," Trump said in the video.
"That's probably even better than real estate, I like real estate," Trump continued. "But I think this is probably better. It's certainly more advanced."
"You have a great opportunity before you with ACN. Without any of the risks most entrepreneurs have to take," Trump added. "Believe me. It's ultimately a dream come true."
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of four anonymous plaintiffs, who withheld their identities due to "serious and legitimate security concerns given the heated political environment," according to their attorneys.
The plaintiffs reportedly became investors in ACN after watching Trump's promotional videos, and were charged a $499 registration fee to sell products like videophones, The Times and CNBC reported on Monday.
ACN, like other multilevel marketing companies, allegedly advertised incentives for recruiting other investors or sales staff to join its programme.
One plaintiff claimed to have joined ACN in 2014 after attending a recruitment meeting that included a video of Trump's endorsement. After spending thousands of dollars attending other meetings, she only earned $38 from the company, according to the lawsuit.
Trump Organisation officials questioned the timing of the lawsuit, which comes days before the November 6 midterm election: "This is clearly just another effort by opponents of the President to use the court system to advance a political agenda," attorney Alan Garten said to The Times.
"Their motivations are as plain as day," Garten added.
A spokesperson for the plaintiff's attorneys denied the allegation and said the lawsuit was filed "because it is ready now," according to CNBC.
"No matter when this was filed, the Trump Org would say it was politically motivated," the spokesperson said.
While MTN saw strong subscriber growth outside SA, it lost 834,000 prepaid customers in South Africa from June to September of this year.
The company is losing customers to cheaper pre-paid options, including Telkom's R100 per gigabyte offer, says one analyst.
But MTN's revenue from pre-paid continued to climb, despite its declining subscriber base.
MTN released its quarterly update for the three months to end-September on Monday. The update showed strong overall growth in subscriber numbers.
Across all its markets, subscribers increased by 2.5 million to 225.4 million.
But while MTN saw strong subscriber and revenue growth from its markets outside of South Africa (revenue from Ghana and Nigeria grew by 23% and 17% respectively), the update confirms that the company is losing local prepaid customers at a rapid rate.
While the number of MTN contract subscribers increased by 120,000 to 5.7 million in this period, the mobile network lost 824,000 prepaid subscribers. It now has 23.7 million pre-paid subscribers.
The company lost a total of 1.5 million subscribers in South Africa in the year to September 2018.
Ruhan du Plessis, a telecommunication analyst at Avior Capital Markets, says increasingly competitive pricing is putting pressure on MTN.
Telkom, which is now offering a gigabyte for R100, has been particularly aggressive, and now offers significantly cheaper data packages compared to MTN, says Du Plessis. Also, newcomer Rain is offering R50 per GB of data.
"The challenging economic environment in SA has made customers more and more price sensitive. Given how easy it is to switch between operators these days, clients will move to cheaper alternatives to navigate turbulent times," says Du Plessis.
MTN extracted more revenue out of its remaining prepaid customers, though. Revenue from its prepaid service rose R2.8 million to R77.5 million despite the fall in subscribers.