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NEWS - ASIA, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA Concerns in Nigeria over fuel stations in residential areas There is growing concern in Nigeria over the building of filling stations in residential areas which has led to fire disasters, claiming many lives and property. In January 2017, Ekiti State government gave owners of filling stations in the state seven days to re-certify their stations or risk having the premises being shut down. The state governor, Ayodele Fayose, gave the directive during a meeting with petroleum marketers. He said the recertification order was a fallout of fire incident in Ijigbo area of Ado-Ekiti which burnt many houses and shops. Governor Fayose said any errant filling station would be shut down while the owner of the filling station gutted by fire would be sued for criminal negligence when it was discovered that he only insured his pumps not the whole premises leading to a situation whereby innocent victims of the incident could not benefit from any insurance cover. The governor also said owners of fuel stations in the state were also to train their workers on safety measures and the training would be conducted by the state’s fire service. “Operators of filling stations who refuse to be part of the re-certification will be sealed and the place acquired for public purposes,” he said. Town planners have also been urged to be alive to their responsibility of regulating building construction in the country. Experts have said petrol station lands should be zoned for commercial/industrial use or be designated specifically for the purpose and should be located at a minimum of 500 feet away from any public institution. Ex Shell executive named Phoenix Petroleum COO Phoenix Petroleum Philippines has appointed Henry Albert R. Fadullon as its new chief operating officer as it pursues growth in the domestic market. Henry Albert Fadullon, former executive at Shell is replacing Romeo de Guzman.“The appointment is a clear demonstration of our rigorous search for the best management talent in the petroleum industry,” Phoenix Petroleum President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Uy said to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE). Prior to his appointment at Phoenix, Fadullon served Shell Shared Services (Asia) B.V. as general manager for its global businesses. Phoenix Petroleum is immersed in an expansion campaign that has seen the company grow from 32 gas stations in 2009 to 505 in 2016. The company is the fifth largest IMF Asks Mozambique To End Fuel Subsidy to balance debt oil firm in the Philippines. In an effort to put Mozambique’s foreign debt back on a balanced path The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Mozambique to restructure its fuel subsidy system. An increase in the price of fuel, which is currently sold at regulated prices below their cost on global markets was announced by Mozambique’s Ministry of Mineral Resources and Energy. Though the difference is made up by government subsidies, delays in paying these has caused fuel retailers to warn that they could go bust. Twice in recent months, Mozambique has come close to fuel crises, which was attributed to the inability of state-owned importer IMOPETRO to pay its bills. Foreign donors have been requested for help with the issue by the government, which prompted a vague offer of assistance during the recent visit of President Filipe Nyusi to Japan. A researcher at Maputo-based think tank the Institute for Economic and Social Studies (IESE), Carlos Muianga said changes are coming too late. “The normal thing would have been for the state to gradually start adjusting maybe 5 or 6 years ago,” he said. In an open letter to the Prime Minister on 2 March, AMEPETROL, The association of Mozambican fuel companies said that the government owes them around $70 million, a figure that is rising at a rate of $7-10 million per month, according to the letter. Ari Aisen, the IMF’s resident representative in Mozambique, suggested the subsidy Mozambique pays to keep fuel prices down totals around 1%-1.5% of GDP, depending on global oil prices. Mozambique must now move to a system of using international reference prices, and make monthly adjustments to the retail price of fuels, according to Aisen. It is fundamental to adopt international reference prices to properly align incentives throughout the import system, and reduce inefficiencies. It’s also essential to put in place automatic adjustments in the price of fuel, every month. The government has said that “failure to remove the fuel subsidies would further negatively affect Mozambique’s payment capacity. Zimbabwe eyes NOIC anD Petrotrade merger The government of Zimbabwe has announced its plans to merge the National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (NOIC) with stateowned downstream company Petrotrade. Energy and Power Development Minister Samuel Undenge said in a parliamentary inquiry that merger deliberations have been taking place. Once merged, the upstream company will concentrate on procurement while the downstream firm will look after rural areas. The merger aims to achieve the advantages of the economies of scale. The deliberations and discussions of the merger are said to be at an advanced stage. NOIC and Petrotrade were once a single company. The two companies were the result of restructure of former National Oil Company of Zimbabwe (Noczim). In 2015 NOIC declared a $4million dividend which was achieved on the back of increased throughput and stringent cost control measures. erpecnews is published by McLean Events, Conferences and Media Ltd. 11


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