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NNPC begins direct fuel supply to independent marketers

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NNPC discovers crude oil, gas in Northern Nigeria

…Fire guts markets, destroys 34 shops***

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation(NNPC) has commenced the direct supply of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, to independent oil marketers in order to effectively clear the fuel queues still prevalent in some parts of the country.

It was gathered on Monday that members of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria had started receiving products directly from the NNPC for onward distribution to motorists and other fuel users.

Prior to the development, IPMAN members were getting PMS from major oil marketers and depot owners, a situation the independent oil dealers kicked against, as they argued that the association had the highest number of filling stations across the country.

The National Vice President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, told our correspondent that the recent fuel queues in the country became largely pronounced because most independent marketers had no product to dispense despite having widespread outlets.

He, however, stated that fuel queues, particularly in the northern part of the country, would soon fizzle out, as the NNPC had commenced the direct supply of products to IPMAN members on Friday.

Maigandi said, “The NNPC has imported products and our marketers have started loading. In the past, they (NNPC) gave only major marketers and the NNPC retail outlets. But now, they have started giving independent petroleum marketers our share.

“So, definitely, I know there will be improvement by next week because our trucks have started loading since Friday. And between Friday and today (Monday), when the products they load get to the northern part of the country, there will be noticeable improvement.”

He added, “Instead of going to the private depot owners and buying at a higher cost, independent marketers now get supply directly from the NNPC. The problem we had before was that the NNPC was allocating it products to DAPPMA (Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association) and MOMAN (Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria) and to their (NNPC) retail outlets.

“So, independent marketers get products from DAPPMA and MOMAN; and when we go there, they can give us at higher rates, which is the situation in some of their depots up till this moment. But the NNPC has started giving direct allocation to independent petroleum marketers at the same rate with what it gives to both MOMAN and DAPPMA.”

Maigandi noted that going by the latest development, the fuel queues being observed in parts of Niger and Kaduna states as well as in Abuja and other northern states would disappear in a few days.

In the meantime, huge losses befell traders at Better Life Market in Makoko, Yaba, and Mammy Market, on the premises of Armed Forces Resettlement Barracks, Oshodi, Lagos, as fire gutted the facilities on Monday.

PUNCH Metro learnt that no fewer than 34 shops were ravaged by fire in the two markets.

Our correspondent gathered that fire broke out from a shop in the Mammy Market around 1.30am and spread to the other shops.

The inferno was said to have been curtailed by men of the Lagos State Fire Service from the Isolo Fire Station.

It was gathered that groceries and provision stores were affected in the incident.

As the fire was put out around 3am, a distress call was said to have been received from residents around the Better Life Market in Makoko.

A resident, Tunde Adejare, said he observed the havoc wreacked on the market  by the fire while returning from work around 6am.

“Over 20 shops were destroyed.  Foodstuffs, clothes, shoes, among other items, were sold in those shops. Traders rushed into the market to know their fate. Many of them lamented; they could not salvage anything from the rubble. No one could tell where the fire started from,” he added.

The spokesperson for the Lagos State Fire Service, Shakiru Amodu, confirmed the two incidents, adding that the agency would work with relevant authorities to ascertain the causes of the fire incidents.

He said, “The affected shops in Better Life Market are a chain of structures. About 20 shops were affected. We received a call around 3am and Ilupeju and Sari-Igamu fire stations were deployed. It was put out around 4am.

“The Mammy Market fire incident happened earlier. We were able to put it out before it caused a lot of damage. Fourteen chains of shops were destroyed. We are still working with the Nigerian Army in order to ascertain the true cause of the fire.”

Amodu urged traders to be safety conscious and ensure that electrical appliances were switched off before they closed for the day.

“In most cases, some traders pass the night in their shops and fire breaks out in the process. We are urging market leaders to talk to those who use shops for accommodation,” he added.

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Accidents

Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

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Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

 Pandemonium engulfed Ekololu, a community in the Surulere area of Lagos, on Monday night when the back tyres of a tanker transporting fuel to a Conoil filling station burst into flames near the station.

The News Correspondent who resides in the area reports that the explosion of the tyres and the ensuing billows of smoke made residents living near the filling station flee for safety.

Observations by the newsmen revealed that staff from the filling station hurried out with fire extinguishers to combat the fire, which erupted around 9:00 p.m., just a few meters from the station’s entrance.

Emergency responders, including Federal and State Fire Services, as well as the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), swiftly arrived at the scene following distress calls from the community.

The ill-fated tanker that caused the pandemonium

Upon arrival, the emergency teams assessed the unregistered truck carrying the petrol and raised concerns about safety measures while questioning the driver and filling station management.

They provided guidance and oversaw the safe discharge of the fuel using a long hose to transfer the petroleum product from the stranded tanker into the filling station’s reservoirs.

The Station Manager of the Conoil filling station, Mr Kunle Oniya, informed the emergency responders that the station possessed 20 fire extinguishers, which were promptly utilised to contain the fire and prevent its spread.

The incident led to a traffic gridlock, with vehicles unable to move in the area for nearly an hour.

Some residents shared their experiences of the ordeal with the newsmen.

A resident, Malam Shehu, recounted abandoning his dinner upon witnessing the fiery explosion.

He expressed gratitude that the fire was contained before causing further damage.

Another resident, known as Iya Abigail, described hearing people shouting while she was playing games, prompting her to flee in confusion wearing her nightclothes.

She prayed for continued safety in the community.

An elderly resident, who preferred anonymity, urged filling stations in the area to prioritise safety and the welfare of residents.

She noted that filling stations typically had insurance against fire and other disasters and suggested extending such coverage to vulnerable buildings in their host communities.

Recalling the chaotic events, she said that she heard the sound of an emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood before hastily evacuating her home.

“I was watching TV and when the incident occurred, I had to blow the emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood but I quickly dressed up before running out of the house,” she said. 

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

…As 15 people sustain varying degrees of injuries

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of seven persons in a road accident that occurred on Ibadan-Iseyin road on Thursday.

The Public Relations Officer, FRSC, Oyo Sector Command, Mr Mayowa Odewo, said in a statement that the deceased were five male adults, one female adult and one female child.

Odewo said that 15 people also sustained varying degrees of injuries out of the 22 people involved in the crash.

He attributed the accident, involving a Nissan Urvan commercial bus, with registration number: SEY 254 ZY and a Mazda commercial bus, with registration number LGB 343 XA, to speed violations and fatigue.

Odewo stated that the 13 injured victims, including three male adults, nine female adults and one female child, had been taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

He said that four of the seven corpses of the victims had been claimed by their families, while the remaining three had been deposited at a morgue.

“The police from Motor Traffic Division (MTD) Police Division, Moniya, Ibadan, have taken possession of the two crashed vehicles, including bags and other valuables recovered from the scene,” he said.

The FRSC spokesperson noted that no victim was saved by the seat belt or other defensive gadgets.

He urged motorists to always obey traffic rules and regulations as well as adhere to all traffic cautions on the road to prevent avoidable crashes. 

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

Australian police had found a man’s body off Sydney’s coast while searching for a cruise ship passenger who went overboard on Monday.
The man fell overboard before dawn near Sydney Heads, about 18 kilometers from the shore, with police and other emergency services launching a search, New South Wales police said.

At about 10.30 a.m. (0030 GMT), officers located the body and retrieved it, police said.

Police would now prepare a report for the Coroner and have launched an investigation into how the incident unfolded.

P&O Cruises’ ship Pacific Adventure was due to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Monday.

“We thank guests for their care, understanding, and patience on what’s been a distressing day for guests and crew,’’
a statement from the company said, as quoted by local media.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the guest at this difficult time.’’

The ship was returning to Sydney from a three-day trip to Queensland’s Morton Island.

– dpa

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