Tanker drivers’ strike paralyses loading activities in Lagos

Loading activities at both private depots and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation depots in Lagos were on Monday paralysed as Petroleum Tanker Drivers commenced a nationwide strike to press home their demands for enhanced welfare.

Correspondents who monitored the strike in Lagos observed that all tank farms in Apapa were empty, without the usual loading of products associated with depots.

The Apapa depots visited included Total Oil and Gas, Capital Oil and Gas, NIPCO Oil and Gas, Aiteo Oil and Gas, Sahara Oil and Gas, Conoil, as well as Mobil Oil and Gas.

The drivers were seen in groups discussing, while others were leaving the depots for unknown destinations.

Alhaji Taofeek Lawal, the Head, Corporate Communications of NIPCO, Apapa said that all depots in Apapa were empty as a result of the strike.

According to him, there are no loading activities at present because the tanker drivers are on strike.

He appealed to the National Association of Road Transport Owners, PTD, NNPC representatives and other stakeholders to step in and find a lasting solution to the strike.

Meanwhile, Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo, the South-West Chairman of NUPENG had said that the Federal Government’s representatives were meeting with NARTO and NUPENG representatives, to resolve the matter.

Korodo said that the outcome of the meeting would decide if the strike would continue or not.

He, however, said that there was no distribution or loading of products in any part of the country.

One of the depot officials who spoke on condition of anonymity, however, said that the strike was uncalled for.

He said that the tanker drivers should have resolved the problem with the truck owners, instead of resorting to go on strike.

The depot official noted that the country had lost over N20bn to the ongoing strike.

The strike was as a result of some unresolved issues bordering on the welfare of workers, such as bad roads, poor remuneration, insecurity and the alleged excesses of some security agencies.

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Enugu Police threaten to arrest masquerades

The Police Command in Enugu State has warned masquerades and their assistants against assault, molestation, and intimidation of Nigerians in the state under whatever guise.

The command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ebere Amaraizu, gave the warning in a statement in Enugu on Monday.

Amaraizu said that the police would arrest anyone caught committing any offense under the guise of masquerade shows.

He said that the command had continued to say that people’s rights should not be infringed upon in any show or festivity.

He advised communities to celebrate their culture and masquerade festivities within the confines of the law.

“The Police have frowned at the report received concerning the alleged recklessness of some masquerades and their assistants on the issue of assault, molestation, and intimidation of good people of the state.

“Anyone caught committing offense or wrecking havoc on members of the public under the guise of masquerade festivities will be promptly arrested and prosecuted,’’ he said.

In a related development, the command through its operatives in Nsukka Police Divisional Headquarters has nabbed one of the assistants of Oriokpa Masquerade, Nnamdi Okoro, in Nsukka on March 26.

Okoro was alleged to have assaulted Mr. Ezeugwu Lawrence, which caused him injury on his head at Ugwuoye axis of Nsukka.

“Okoro is now helping police operatives in their investigation.

“He will be arraigned properly in court after investigation,’’ the police spokesman said.

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Jibrin not competent to ask for Buhari’s resignation – Lasun

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Lasun Yusuf, has said that former Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, Abdulmumin Jibrin, is not competent to ask for the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari based on health ground.

The deputy speaker said this in Osogbo on Sunday at the empowerment programme he organised for some of his constituents. He distributed laptop computers to some youths he had already trained and doled out seed money to mushroom and plantain growers.

Yusuf, who is representing Orolu/ Irepodun/Osogbo/Olounda Federal Constituency at the lower legislative chamber, said it was wrong for the suspended lawmaker to ask Buhari to resign because he was nursing some ailments.

The federal lawmaker said Buhari’s health condition had not in any way negatively affected the running of the government, saying the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osunbajo was very effective when the President was indisposed and other arms of government had been functioning very well.

He added that the legislature and the judiciary, as well as the executive, were still functioning very well despite that the President was away for some weeks.

He said, ” Leaders, all over are suffering from one ailment or the other. Why will Buhari resign? Is the National Assembly and the judiciary not working?

“Jibrin is just 40 years, he lacks the experience. If he has anything to suggest, he should write to the President but he is not competent to ask him to resign.”

Speaking on the current economic situation in the country, the deputy speaker said the economy was in a bad situation because of lack of knowledge.

He urged Nigerian youths to seek knowledge in order to be more relevant in all the sectors and to achieve self-fulfillment.

According to him, the kind of knowledge he is advocating is not limited to the school, saying many great men in the world had little education.

The Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Osun State chapter, Mr. Kayode Afolabi, expressed gratitude to the lawmaker for encouraging the youths to develop an interest in agriculture.

He said the problem of the nation would be partly solved if agriculture could receive more encouragement and investment from government and individuals.

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Wike has executed more projects than FG – Akpabio

Senate Minority Leader, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has said that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has executed more projects in the last two years than the Federal Government.

Akpabio, who spoke with journalists in Port Harcourt shortly after accompanying Wike on inspection of projects on Monday, explained that the governor’s outstanding performance stemmed from his love for Rivers people.

The immediate past governor of Akwa Ibom State pointed out that performance was not necessarily because of the availability of resources, but because Wike “judiciously” applied scarce resources to the development of state.

He said, “Governor Wike has done more work and projects in the last two years than the Federal Government. That is my considered opinion. Performance is not necessarily an issue of the availability of resources. If your state gets N5bn, do projects of that amount.

“If you get N1bn, do projects commensurate with that figure. For Governor Wike, he has judiciously applied the scarce resources available to the state to develop needed infrastructure.

“The resources available to Rivers State is nothing compared to that of the Federal Government. Rivers State Government gets far less than a quarter than one per cent of what accrues to the Federal Government, but we can see the tremendous quality of transformation taking place in the state.

“It is not so much money that makes performance. It is love for your people. When you are elected, if you love your people, you will perform, no matter the little money that you have.

“What I am seeing here in Rivers State is not like a recession economy because the governor of Rivers State loves his people. The kind of projects that Governor Wike is doing in Rivers State will attract the world to the state. Today, there is a song that the handwork of Wike is beautiful.”

Akpabio, however advised Wike never to be distracted by political detractors engaging in political blackmail, adding that no matter the attempt at distraction, the governor should continue his transformation of the state.

“Do not be distracted by any unnecessary blackmail against your person by political detractors. I want to urge all governors who have the opportunity to lead their states to visit Rivers State,” he said.

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CBN injects another $240m into FX market

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Monday, injected another $240 million into the nation’s foreign exchange market to sustain Naira’s gains against the Dollar and other hard currencies.

Of that amount, $90 million was to meet requests for invisibles such as BTA/PTA, medical and school fees. The balance of $150 million was given to authorized FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale auction window.

The Bank’s Acting Director in charge of Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, confirmed the figures, disclosing that the CBN had adjusted BDC sale days to Tuesdays only to reduce logistical difficulties. He added that henceforth the apex Bank would sell $10,000 only to low-end forex dealers once a week, instead of the twice weekly earlier announced.

According to Okorafor, in a bid to further ease the access of customers, the CBN has also directed all banks to pay cash over the counter to desiring foreign exchange customers.

While urging the banks to oblige the genuine requests of customers, the spokesman advised customers to report any uncooperating bank to the CBN through available platforms.

It will be recalled that the CBN in the recent months has made offers and releases to the inter-bank foreign exchange market in its bid to sustain forex rule supply to different categories of users.

Meanwhile, the CBN spokesman expressed optimism that the sum of $150 million offered to authorized FOREX dealers in the interbank wholesale window to meet the requests of genuine wholesale customers would be fully subscribed at the auction as was the case at the last auction on March 28, 2017.

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