…As FG tests over 2,000 persons for COVID-19 and unmask over 178 Confirmed Cases***
The Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria (PETROAN) on Wednesday grieved that the currently reduced petrol pump price would devastate their businesses and therefore urged the Federal Government to grant intervention funds to help cushion losses.
The association made the call in a statement jointly signed by its President, Dr Billy Gillis-Harry and the Secretary, Mr Ogbuefi Erasmus, in Abuja, on Wednesday.
“We, the members of PETROAN as obedient citizens of Nigeria and partners in progress with the government, are very willing to obey and comply with the new reduction in pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) also known as petrol.
“We are confident that this will help reduce the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.
“However, our association wishes to bring to the notice of the federal government, the challenges of Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners in Nigeria.
“Our members have recorded massive losses from March 19 when the first reduction was announced by the federal government.
“With further reduction in price by the federal government, our members again will lose a sizable amount of money which will impact negatively on their buying power.
“This will inevitably spiral down to a reduction in patronage of the government approval petroleum products distribution depot.
“We, therefore, wish to appeal to the federal government and other relevant stakeholders to come to our aid by urgently by setting up an intervention fund to be midwifed by the CBN and disbursed to our members in form of soft loans to cushion the effect of the PMS price reduction on our businesses,” it said.
The association commended the government on the move to further reduce the price of petrol to touch the lives of Nigerians positively.
“We wish to, therefore, seize this opportunity to express our heartfelt appreciation and happiness at this edifying gesture by the Federal Government under the distinguished leadership of President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva,” added.
It noted that the move was a show of excellent leadership in times of need and in the face of a global crisis.
In another development, the Federal Government said it had tested just over 2000 persons, out of the several millions, for the Novel Coronavirus(COVID19) pandemic outbreak in the country.
Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, confirmed this on Wednesday in Abuja, at the Presidential Taskforce (PTF), Briefing on COVID19 in the country.
Ehanire said that Nigerians have to be tested in one of the seven Nigeria’s molecular laboratories for the result to be valid.
He said that there was no need for Nigerians to travel. “You are safe where you are,”
The minister advised Nigerians to stay away from people that were sick or feeling ill.
Ehanire said that as at 12:30 p.m. April 1, there are 151 confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Nigeria. Nine have been discharged with two deaths.
He said that currently, there were 82 cases in Lagos; Abuja 28, Oyo – eight; Osun – 14; Ogun – four; Kaduna-three; Enugu – two, Edo – four and Bauchi – two, Ekiti – two, while Rivers and Benue had one case each, respectively.
He disclosed that the special support team from Irrua Federal Virus Research & Treatment Hospital (ISTH) would arrive in Abuja to support capacity building, accreditation and coordination of the isolation and treatment centres in the FCT.
He noted that the ministry had a virtual meeting with the Commissioners of Health of all the 36 states and the FCT, during which state commissioners were updated on national response plans.
He said that they were urged to activate their State Emergency Preparedness and Response Actions for COVID-19 and also to implement Social Measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force for the control of COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, said that the PTF have received situation reports from the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on inter-state traffic across the country as at Tuesday, March 31, 2020.
“Indications are that there was a reasonable level of compliance with the presidential directive which has led to great reduction of traffic on major highways.
“We have, however, received reports of challenges arising from the enforcement of the presidential directives by security agents generally and in states where governors have also imposed their own measures,” he said.
Mustapha disclosed that the PTF had developed an Implementation Guide and Protocols for the COVID-19 Lockdown Policy.
“This document will be widely circulated to all security agencies and will be discussed with sub-national entities for the purpose of building synergy in the fight against the virus,” he said..