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FUEL SCARCITY: Ibadan, Kano, Enugu Residents Groan as Queues Spread and Fares Soar



Fuel scarcity: Long queues resurface in Abuja

Residents of Ibadan and other major towns in Oyo State have joined the people of Kano and Enugu States, to lament the excruciating pains of fuel scarcity, even as petrol sells for N240 to N300 per litre and fares hiked, 100 per cent.

Presently, Ibadan fuel depots, it was learnt has run dry, with many residents decrying the unnecessary hardship they were subjected to in getting petrol.

Also read: Ibadan residents decry worsening power supply, fuel scarcity

At SAO Petrol Station, Old Ife Road, a woman who identified herself as Nike Ajagbe said she was not too surprised that the fuel pains finally came.

“We are used to it.

We went through this during Goodluck Jonathan’s era.

Buhari hiked the price, telling us it was to ensure availability, but what again is happening? Black or white, politicians are the same: selfish, soulless pack!”, she stated, saying it was very clear now, that as far as fuel was concerned, APC was not better than PDP.

At Bovah’s Petrol Station, Total Garden, the queue there was formidable, stretching towards State Government Secretariat; leaving only a little space as entrance for those going inside the University College Hospital (UCH).

The petrol Station itself was rowdy, as Commercial motorcycle operators and Keke Napep operators quarrelled with Taxis and car owners on queues.

“This is the only station around here that sells from all its pumps.

We queue knowing that within three hours, you will get fuel to buy.

If you don’t have money, you must be ready to queue”, a man highlighted, refusing to mention his name.

He said he came from the Moniya area, adding that most of the stations there were selling fuels from already over-tinkered dispensers at N240 per litre.

The crew of Maritime First drove around the town and found most stations, closed.

Recounting his ordeals, Mr Akinola Akinkunmi, an Artisan, said, having gone round many filling stations in Ibadan, with no luck, he was forced to buy petrol at N200 per litre at a filling station.

“This suffering is too much.

I have gone around the town looking for fuel to buy, but I didn’t get it, as many stations I visited were not opened for business.

“The few ones selling at the official rate have long queues and they don’t sell into jerry cans.

“I was only able to buy at a place for N200 per litre.

Some are even selling as high as N300 per litre,” Akinkunmi said.

Also, Mrs Omolara Aina, a mother of two, said it was becoming difficult for her to take her children to school daily, because of the scarcity.

“My husband spent a greater part of Monday queuing for petrol; we hope respite is on the way because we cannot continue like this.

“Foods stored in the refrigerators had spoilt, yet things are very expensive now because transportation had increased as a result of the fuel scarcity.

“The hardship caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is still lingering, but now, it is getting to the climax with the fuel scarcity, I tell you,” Aina said.

An elderly man, popularly called Baba Canada said he queued for six hours before he could buy fuel, even then, the station refused to sell into his Jerry can!

The environment he believes has no respect for Senior Citizens!

Also, Mr Ade Ojo, a commercial driver, said he spent about seven hours on a queue waiting to buy fuel, but managed to get the product at the official rate at the end.

“Do you think with all the hassles I went through, I will not double or even triple the transport fare?

“Life is difficult for residents now with the fuel scarcity.

The heat is too much; you need to power your generator because electricity is not available, even at that, where is the petrol to power the generator?

“Let the government walk its talk and make the product available as they had promised,” Ojo said.

Reacting, Mr Ademola Kayode, a commercial motorcyclist plying Adeoyo – Challenge Route, said he got fuel at N250 per litre on Monday night.

Kayode said that he has no option other than to charge his passenger a high fare to recover his money.

Meanwhile, Mr Tayo Aluko, an official of the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authorities (NMDPRA), said the agency had been going round to ensure that the product was sold at the official rate.

“Ibadan Depot has no supply of PMS.

The product available in Ibadan is from Lagos and that is why some filling stations were selling above the official rate.

“We are now going around monitoring and sanctioning those who were found wanting in complying with the laid down regulations,” Aluko said.

Meanwhile, the Oyo State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), had on Monday threatened to arrest and prosecute fuel marketers who were hoarding the product or selling above the approved pump price.

The state Commandant, Michael Adaralewa, had warned, at a news briefing and parade of fraud suspects in Ibadan, fuel marketers to desist from imposing “artificial scarcity” on the people.

In Kano, motorists are bemoaning the lingering petroleum scarcity and the flagrant price hike of the commodity by marketers.

A cross-section of the beleaguered motorists who spoke to the newsmen lamented the nefarious activities of the shylock marketers, saying the scarcity had resulted in long queues at filling stations.

A correspondent who monitored the situation observed that only few petroleum marketers sold the product at the pump price of N165 per litre in Kano city.

The investigation further revealed that such filling stations attracted high patronage, leading to resurfacing of long queues, where motorists spent several hours to refill their vehicles.

Some filling stations, particularly at the environs, had the product in stock, but they close in the day time and open in the night to sell at exorbitant prices.

The correspondent further learnt that majority of filling stations in the city had also run out of stock, hence, they remained closed.

The situation left some motorists with no option other than to buy from the black market because they could not afford to wait in the long queues.

Newsmen also report that a four-litre gallon of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS-petrol) at the black market sold for N1,200 and above.

The survey further indicates that some filling stations at the outskirts of Kano metropolis sold the product at a minimum of N220 per litre and above, as reported from filling stations on the outskirts of Kano.

They sold the product for between N235 and N245.

Some of the motorists interviewed lamented the ugly situation and urged the government to take urgent measures that would address the problems.

Aminu Kabiru, a driver, said that he encountered difficulties daily before getting fuel for his vehicle for the past four weeks.

He said that was why they increased transport fares to sustain the operations.

Tasiu Musa, another motorist, said that development would only aggravate the suffering of the people.

Musa added,” this could also lead to inflation because of the vital role that the transportation sector plays in the development of the economy.”

He urged the government to come to the aid of Nigerians by addressing the problems in good time.

However, all efforts to talk to the Chairman, Kano State Chapter of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Alhaji Bashir Danmallam, on the issue proved abortive, because he neither answered several phone calls nor responded to an SMS text message sent to him.

In Enugu, commercial transport charges have in the meantime, skyrocketed by 100 per cent, leaving commuters groaning in the metropolis.

A correspondent, who monitored the development on Tuesday, reports that fares for short distances of about four or five stops away on commercial buses and tricycles have risen from N50 is now N100.

A distance covered with N100 before now is currently charged N200.

Newsmen observed that the development has left many commuters, including civil servants, pupils and students trekking long distances to and from their destinations.

Reacting, a bus driver plying the Garki-Polo Park route, Mr Andy Onyia, blamed the current increase in fares on the fuel pump price hike within the Enugu metropolis.

Onyia said that in a situation where drivers have to buy fuel for between N200 and N210 per litre, “you don’t expect commercial bus drivers to still charge the old prices.

“If the price of fuel comes down today, I am sure, some commercial bus drivers will revert to their previous charges.

“It does not give most drivers joy seeing people suffer or being placed in hard condition of trekking long distances,” he said.

Mr Okechukwu Madu, a commercial tricycle rider, said that apart from the current fuel pump price hike, the issue of dilapidated roads remains a major factor.

Madu, who shuttles between Ogbete Main Market and Mayor Bus Stop, said: “Most roads within Enugu metropolis are dilapidated and our tricycle gets frequent wear-and-tear leading to mechanic workshop visits every week”.

A bus driver in Obiagu axis, Mr Tony Ani, said that the recent fuel price increase has had a ripple effect on current economic activities since every other item sold in the market has witnessed an increase in price.

“To me, drivers have been the most considerate people.

For a long, other service providers have increased prices.

“Drivers are in the same environment and the same market to buy things or pay for services with constant price increases,” Ani, who shuttles between Obiagu–Abakpa said



Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu Urges Sacrifice, Integrity For National Rebirth



Eid-el-Fitr: Tinubu urges sacrifice, integrity for national rebirth

 President Bola Tinubu has urged Nigerians to continue to make sacrifices and exhibit integrity for national development.

Tinubu said this after observing the Eid-el-Fitr prayer at the Eid Ground at Dodon Barracks on Wednesday in Lagos.

The President also called on Nigerians to continue to have faith in his government and remain patriotic citizens.

Tinubu said that the Renewed Hope Agenda of his administration, aimed at bringing prosperity to Nigerians, was being diligently implemented.

Encouraging Muslims to extend the values of sacrifice and resilience beyond the fasting period, Tinubu emphasised the need for Nigerians to prioritise the exhibition of love for their country.

‘’The resilience and sacrifice that we have shown and made during these months should be preserved.

“Be a kind and cheerful giver. We must love our country more than any other country because this is the only one we have.

‘’We must continue to protect the integrity of our government and leadership. The Renewed Hope Agenda is alive, well and fine, and Nigerians should continue to be very hopeful. Without hope, there is no salvation.

“Without hope, there is no development. Without hope, there is no life. Eid Mubarak,’’ the President said at the end of the prayers led by the Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Abou-Nolla.

Earlier in his sermon, the Chief Imam urged Nigerians to shun all acts of violence, ensure peaceful co-existence, and continue to have faith in the country.

He asked those in leadership positions to remain faithful to their oaths of office and work towards alleviating the suffering of the less privileged.

‘‘Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Gaza and other areas of conflict,’’ the Chief Imam said.

He offered prayers of God’s guidance, wisdom, and protection for the President and the Lagos State government, as well as for peace and stability in the country.

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Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta



Lawmaker Secures Release of 4 Persons Involved in Illegal Arms Manufacturing in Delta

Sen. Ned Nwoko (PDP-Delta), on Wednesday, disclosed that he had secured the release of four family members involved in manufacturing arms at the Onicha-Olona Illegal Arms Factory in Delta.

Nwoko representing Delta North Senatorial District, who disclosed this in an interview in Abuja, said that the release of the four persons was through collaborative efforts.

On March 12, troops of 63 Brigade, Asaba, uncovered an illegal arms manufacturing factory in Onicha-Olona, Delta North Senatorial District and arrested eight family members in connection with the crime.

Nwoko disclosed that efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“Following my recent visit to the headquarters of 63 Brigade, Asaba and productive discussions with the Brigade Commander, I am pleased to announce progress in addressing the situation regarding the illegal arms factory discovered in the Onicha-Olona community, Delta.

“Efforts have been made to ensure fair treatment for those involved, balancing justice with the opportunity for rehabilitation and contribution to society.

“I am pleased to reveal that through collaborative efforts, I have successfully secured the release of four family members implicated in the illegal activity.

“However, our commitment to upholding the law remains unwavering, and endeavours continue for fair judgment and potential pardon for the remaining four individuals,” he said.

The lawmaker stressed that the underlying issue highlighted by the discovery, however, remained of paramount importance.

“We must seize the opportunity to redirect the talents demonstrated by those involved towards lawful and productive endeavours.

“The young man in the family, known for his passion and ability to build drones, exemplifies this potential.

“His skills should be harnessed and put to good use,” he said.

Nwoko added that the Industrial Revolution served as a pertinent historical precedent where individual efforts catalysed transformative change and made possible by governments that created conducive environments.

“We can emulate this model here. We can provide support and opportunities for talented individuals like the young drone builder, and stimulate a new wave of innovation and economic growth in Nigeria.

“As previously stated, Nigeria’s economy faces significant challenges exacerbated by escalating imports, particularly in the realm of arms and weaponry.

“Therefore, we must harness our indigenous talents for the greater good and bolster our local industries,” he said.

Nwoko further said that the Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology, have crucial roles to play in this regard.

According to him, by engaging with individuals possessing such skills, we can offer them legal avenues for their expertise to flourish.

“The aim is not only to prevent the proliferation of illegal arms or other weapons manufacturing but also to channel these talents towards legitimate industries for national development.

“I reiterate the need for the government to support and integrate such offenders with specialised skills and talents into the formal economy.

“This initiative should focus on recognising their capabilities and providing opportunities for them to contribute to the development of our local indigenous technology.

“As noted earlier, an individual capable of modifying an AK-47 magazine, originally designed to hold 30 rounds, to accommodate 60 rounds using rudimentary equipment, holds immense potential for greater achievements.

”Such individual can do more with proper legal support and access to adequate resources.”

He disclosed that he was committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partnering with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.

“I am committed to proposing or supporting a new law aimed at assisting talented and skilful individuals involved in illegal activities and also partner with law enforcement agencies in these endeavours.”

“They have the intelligence and insights of the potential beneficiaries of this “amnesty” drive towards creating a new cadre of indigenous technologists.

“This law would establish an agency dedicated to providing government support and resources to rehabilitate and engage these individuals in legal and productive activities.

“I tentatively suggest naming this proposed law the “National Talent Rehabilitation and Integration Act”.

“This legislation will not only focus on rehabilitation but also on harnessing the skills and talents of offenders for the benefit of society.

“By providing a structured environment and necessary support, this agency will facilitate the transition of individuals from illicit activities to lawful and productive ventures.

”And they will be contributing to both their personal rehabilitation and national development,” Nwoko added.

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NGX Market Capitalisation Gains N836bn



Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

…Tantalizers, NASCON lead the losers’ chart 

The Nigerian Exchange Ltd.(NGX) market capitalisation, which opened at N57.697 trillion on Tuesday, gained N836 billion or 1.45 percent closing at N58.533 trillion.

Also, the All-Share Index rose by 1.45 percent or 1,480 points to close at 103,524.44, as against 102,044.84 recorded on Monday.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 38.45 percent.

Interest in Telco heavyweight and Tier-one banks such as MTN Nigeria, UBA, Access Corporation, Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO), and sustained interest in Transcorp Power(TransPower) kept the market in the green.

Market breadth closed positive with 35 gainers and 14 losers.

On the gainer’s chart, UBA led in percentage terms of 10 to close at N25.30, followed by MTN by 9.98 percent to close at N243.50 per share.

Julius Berger also gained 9.71 percent to close at N61, While Access Corporation rose by 9.51 percent to close at N22.45 per share.

Veritas Kapital Assurance went up by 9.38 percent to close at 70k per share.

Conversely, Tantalizers led the loser’s chart by 7.89 percent to close at 35k, and National Salt Company of Nigeria(NASCON) trailed by 6.77 percent to close at N53.70.

Morison Industries Plc shed 6.62 percent to close at N1.41, C&I Leasing lost 6.45 percent to close at N3.48, while Cutix Plc dropped 6.30 percent to close at N2.53 per share.

However, analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower, relative to the previous session.

The value of transactions was also down by 16.76 percent.

A total of 565.79 million shares valued at N14.23 billion were exchanged in 11,519 deals,  compared to 436.90 million shares valued at N17.09 billion exchanged in 11,344 deals traded on Monday.

On the activity chart, Transcorp led in volume with 170.72 million shares traded at a value of N3.13 billion, Access Corporation followed by 48.57 million shares valued at N1.06 billion.

GTCO sold 39.04 million shares worth N165.80 million, Jaiz Bank traded 36.78 million shares valued at N72.51 million and UBA transacted 31.96 million shares valued at N796.24 million

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