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NNPC reacts to hike in price of Kerosene

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has attributed the increased in the price of household Kerosene in the country to the pressure of demand and supply.

The NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Ndu Ughamadu, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja that the price of the product had been deregulated.

“The point remains that the prices of the kerosene is deregulated.

“It is not as controlled with reference to Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as Petrol, that is why we see the prices moving up and down.

“The important thing is that the trend you are seeing there had to do with supply and demand. The more the demand, the higher the price locally,’’ he said

Ughamadu said that the NNPC remained the sole importer of the product and had been augmenting it with the skeletal production from the refineries.

He reiterated the commitment of the corporation to the adequate supply of petroleum products for Nigerians.

“The corporation is doing everything to ensure that we import more volumes of kerosene because, we believe that this is the energy source that the low-income earners in the country use,’’ he added

A check by NAN in some outskirt of the Federal Capital Territory indicated that the price of Kerosene ranged between N400 and N500 per litre.

NAN reports that most filling stations along the Kubwa express road, Dutse, and Zuba hardly sell the product.

Most of the consumers buy the products from the roadside.

At Dutse market, the price was N400 per litre while within Kubwa it is sold between N450 and N500 per litre.

Mrs Halima Saidu, a seller at Kubwa village market, told NAN that she buys from filling stations at different prices.

“I sell at N450 per litre now but if I buy at a higher price at the filling station, I will sell above that,’’ she said.

It will be recalled that the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its National Household price watch in June said the average price per litre paid by consumers for Kerosene increased to N316.43 in June 2 from N315.91 in May.

The NBS said the price of kerosene increased by 0.17 per cent month-on-month and 13.14 per cent year-on-year in the period under review.

The report said states with the highest average price per litre of kerosene were Anambra at N381.25; Abia, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom N356.67 and Enugu N352.78.

(NAN)

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Customs seizes N5 billion codeine, tramadol

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The strike force of the Controller General of Customs on Friday raided a warehouse in Lagos where cartons of codeine, tramadol, and other illegal drugs worth N5 billion were kept.

The warehouse, located along the Mile-Oshodi expressway, was raided after a trailer load of the hard drugs was intercepted at Maryland in Lagos.

Usman Yahaya, team leader of the Customs Strike Force Zone A, said the trailer was intercepted around 2 a.m. on August 13 by his operatives.

“Immediately it was brought to our notice, we carried a preliminary investigation that led to the discovery of a warehouse along Oshodi-Mile 2 road stocked dreaded tramadol, codeine and other unregistered pharmaceutical products without NAFDAC numbers”.

He said that after evacuating the warehouse of the hard drugs with street value of N5 billion, one suspect was arrested.

“The warehouse was immediately sealed with a detachment of well armed officers to guard the place”.

“The drugs estimated to be loaded in 21 trailers with street value of over five billion Naira are being evaluated for custody and subsequent judicial process/destruction.”

Three weeks ago, the agency in collaboration with the National Administration of Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) destroyed 48 by 40feet of controlled drugs worth N146billion at a destruction site in Ogun State.

“We therefore call on well meaning Nigerians to support the Nigerian Customs Service on this patriotic resolution”.

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Inflation gets low in July – NBS

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The average change in the prices of foods and services reduced in July compared to June, the statistics bureau, NBS, has said.

According to the NBS, the Headline Inflation reduced to 11.08 per cent in July from 11.22 per cent in June.

The Food Inflation reduced from 13.56 per cent in June to 13.39 per cent in July while the Core Inflation reduced from 8.84 per cent in June to 8.80 per cent in July.

Details later…

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CBN outlines new guidelines to banks

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says it has released guidelines for the disbursement of lower denominations of the Naira through microfinance banks (MFBs) across the country.

The bank’s Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okorafor, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Thursday.

Okorafor said this development was contained in a circular issued by the Director, Currency Operations Department of the bank, Mrs Patricia Eleje, in Abuja on Thursday.

He explained that the circular indicated that all microfinance banks must have a Composite Risk Rating (CRR) of above average in the most recent Risk Based Supervision (RBS) target examination before they were considered for the scheme.

He explained that the measure was to ensure that only MFBs with good corporate governance practices took part, NAN reports.

“Meanwhile, the participating MFBs must be willing to accept a mixture of new and other banknotes, and that the MFBs shall give 20 per cent of any withdrawal in lower denomination notes subject to a maximum of N50,000.

“Where beneficiaries withdraw more than once in a day, the circular said that disbursement will only apply to one transaction per day.

“Similarly, the MFBs are allowed to exchange notes subject to a maximum of N50,000 for customers with bank accounts and N10,000 for customers without bank accounts.

“In that situation, the banks must not exchange for same beneficiaries more than once a week,” he added.

According to him, MFBs are to maintain a register of amounts received from the CBN through their correspondent commercial banks.

Okorafor said the MFB must also maintain another register of the beneficiaries of the lower denomination notes as well as ensure that withdrawal teller slips contain breakdown of the denomination of the currency to customers with accounts.

“The circular also warned MFBs against hawking, hoarding or using of funds obtained under the intervention for any other purpose.

“It also instructed the banks to put in place effective control measures that will ensure that banknotes disbursed to customers with or without accounts are not sold.

“Furthermore, the circular directed the banks to render weekly and monthly disbursement return to CBN branches where the intervention would be monitored periodically, and appropriate sanctions applied to erring MFBs,” he said.

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