• Senate moves to protect indigenous airlines, probes unfair competition
Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has hinted that pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS) may be increased soon, as it described the N145 pump price as the cheapest in West Africa.
The new Group Managing Director (GMD), Mele Kyari, stated this yesterday during a visit to Senate President Ahmed Lawan at the National Assembly complex, Abuja.
Kyari spoke while making submissions on revenue generation before the leadership of the senate.
He identified cheap fuel price and smuggling as the two key factors hampering revenue generation by the agency.
“The N145 per litre fuel price regime in Nigeria runs against the N350 per litre most of the other West African countries operate, encouraging smuggling.
“It is even very difficult for us to make the product available at N145,” said he.
NNPC also said it would lobby the National Assembly to ensure speedy passage of laws relating to the oil and gas industry to enhance performance.
The corporation stated that the move would ensure the emplacement of an enabling legal framework for the growth of the oil and gas sector.
Immediate past GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru, who was at the meeting, said a visit to the senate president was part of the programmes planned for the period of transition but was not realised due to exigencies.
Baru stressed that he considered it necessary to still visit, even after the formal handover, considering the good relations he enjoyed with Lawal.
He stated that beyond introducing his successor, the visit was meant to canvass the senate’s support for the quick passage of the Deep Offshore Amendment Bill, which could boost the government’s revenue with about $5 billion per annum.
Meanwhile, the senate has resolved to unravel the reason foreign airlines were allowed to fly multiple routes within Nigeria to mop up passengers, a practice that is alien to other climes.
To that effect, the upper legislative chamber said it would summon the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Transport, the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Managing Director of Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to explain things to the senate.
This followed a motion on Unfair Competition and Urgent Need to Protect Nigeria’s Indigenous Airlines from Extinction due to designations and multiple frequencies granted foreign airlines in Nigeria, moved by Senator Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP, Anambra South).
The senators also mandated foreign airlines to provide statistics of Nigerians in their employ, encouraging them to employ more Nigerians and to partner indigenous airlines.
They urged the federal government to give indigenous airlines the necessary support and protection to remain afloat.