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IPMAN members protest evacuation of fuel from depot

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Some members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Ondo State chapter, have raised the alarm over the alleged illegal evacuation of fuel from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Depot in Ore, Ondo State.

According to them, the products allegedly evacuated included diesel, kerosene, and Premium Motor Spirit, also known as petrol.

The protesters, who had shut the main entrance of the Ore depot since Friday, alleged that the depot had been neglected for over 15 years, saying it was worrisome that the products meant for Ondo and Ekiti states were currently being diverted to other parts of the country.

The leader of the protesters, Salisu Ojo, disclosed that some people came with letters from the NNPC headquarters to evacuate the diesel and kerosene from the depot and said the development would not be acceptable.

He said, “It was later discovered that the people, who evacuated the products, ended up diverting and selling the products to non-existing companies in Lagos to aid their diversion.

“Having discovered the development, we have to protest when the same set of people came with another letter to evacuate premium motor spirit from the depot.”

He noted that the people of Ondo and Ekiti states were currently suffering from non-availability of diesel, kerosene and PMS which had led to long queues at filling stations mostly in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

Ojo called on the relevant agencies to investigate where diesel and kerosene that were loaded last week went into and also to make sure that the remaining PMS (petrol) at the depot spread across the two states- Ondo and Ekiti.

Similarly, the IPMAN Chairman, Ore Depot, Mr Shina Amoo, has appealed to the Federal Government to assist the members of the association from being out of the business following the unfavorable price of the Premium Motor Spirit.

Amoo declared that selling a litre of petrol for N165 was not profitable again to the IPMAN members, hence the intervention of the government.

He stated this while speaking with our correspondent in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Thursday, on reason for fuel scarcity in some parts of the country.

According to him, the Pipeline Petroleum Marketing Company has not let the association load the product at N148 per litre and it had not been easy for his members to get the products at private depots.

He said, “The PPMC has deprived us the right to load petrol at official price of N148. A lot of our independent petroleum marketers have been struggling up and down to get this product from various private depots all over the states.

“All these depot owners have been selling to us at premium, that is between N153-N158 per litre. None of them could sell official price and since we have been making noise about this and government is not doing anything, we have concluded.

Amoo further explained, “Depots in Edo or Delta State sell N157.50k. Depots in Lagos and environs sell at N157.00, transportation in between is N10 to N11 per litre. considering other loading expenses, landing cost of petrol to any station in the South-West is between N175 – N180. The PPMC started the RRR (Remita Retrieval Reference, the central approval to load, a year back, we all thought it was going to help in bringing sanity to our business in area of equity availability and distribution but all of a sudden we were totally sidelined.

“Attention was being given to major marketers and private depot owners and they are selling to us as they like. Many of the IPMAN members are out of business, some of us are bankrupt while some are already unhealthy because of the NNPC’s unhealthy policies of favouring one party than the other. If you see any independent station selling at pump price of N165, please praise him because he’s doing this base on his patriotism, but there is a limit we can go. This is the more reason we may no longer sell petrol at N165. We have seen that the NNPC has interest in indirect price increase.”

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Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct

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The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology

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Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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