- Commuters Stranded in Lagos as LAGBUS Operators Embark on Strike
Hundreds of commuters in Lagos were on Monday stranded at various bus stops in due to strike embarked on by operators of Lagbus Asset Management Ltd.(LAGBUS).
LAGBUS manages the Lagos State owned branded red luxury commercial buses on some routes in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that some commuters, who were caught unawares by the strike, said they would return home as they could not afford the sudden hike in transport fares by other commercial buses.
Mr Amusa Johnson, a civil servant, told NAN that he was at the bus stop since 6.00 a.m waiting for the red buses before he later found out that they were on strike.
“Public transporters such as the “danfo” buses immediately increased their fares because of the number of commuters stranded at the bus stops,’’ Johnson said.
Mrs Omolara Akinjuyi, a trader at Idumota market, described the situation as “unfortunate and pathetic”.
Akinjuyi also said that other commercial buses took advantage of the situation to increase their fares by about 70 per cent which resulted to some people returning to their various homes.
“When I saw the magnitude of people stranded at the bus, I decided to go back home because I cannot afford the fares charged by other commercial buses,” Akinjuyi said.
Mr Alex Nwanko, an apprentice, said that he decided to go back home as the situation was unbearable.
“We have been standing here for two hours now, even the Blue buses that are on ground cannot be enough for all the passengers.
“Some passengers have been on the queue since early morning till now, waiting for the blue buses that have not gone,’’ he said.
Another commuter, Mrs Tokunbo Aladesomo, appealed to the state government to urgently find solution to the matter.
She said this would assist in easing the problems of commuters and also checking transport fares.
“We are begging the state government to come to our aid and end this situation as you know if price of anything goes up, it doesn’t come down,” she said.
When NAN visited the office of the company, a senior official of LAGBUS said that the management would soon resolve the issue, adding,
“ the situation is currently under control.’’
Banners with various inscriptions were displayed at the company’s premises.
Some of the banners read: “All LAGBUS will no longer use the dedicated BRT lane between Ikorodu and CMS because they are not paying the expected maintenance fees for the corridor.
“On-board sales of pax tickets will cease on all LAGBUS red buses, Ticket will be sold prior to passenger boarding.
“All LAGBUS red buses will not be allowed to drop or pick passengers on the road along Ikorodu Road/ Western Avenue.
“LAGBUS will only operate express service between Ikorodu and Oshodi and the first stop will be Anthony.
“LAGBUS will only operate express service between the Ikorodu, Ojubode and Obalende.
“LAGBUS will stop operation on the following routes, Owode -ijora, Mile 12-Yaba, Oyingbo –Mile 12 and Mile 12 to inner Marina.
“All LAGBUS red buses will stop operations on the following routes: Agric (Ikorodu)-Maryland Ketu-Ikorodu
“All LAGBUS red buses travelling from Berger to Oshodi will do so via Gbagada /Oworonshoki
“All LAGBUS red buses operating from Oshodi to Obalende will only travel via Third Mainland Bridge”.
Oil Prices Slide as U.S. Crude Stockpiles Surge, Heightening Demand Concerns
Oil prices declined on Thursday as concerns over demand intensified due to a larger-than-anticipated build in U.S. crude stockpiles.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped by 0.5% to $83.25 a barrel while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil fell by 0.3% to $78.28 a barrel.
The Energy Information Administration’s report revealed a substantial increase in U.S. crude oil stockpiles by 4.2 million barrels to 447.2 million barrels for the week ending February 23rd.
This surge surpassed analysts’ expectations and marked the fifth consecutive week of rising inventories.
While gasoline and distillate inventories witnessed a decline, concerns regarding a sluggish economy and reduced oil demand in the U.S. were amplified.
Satoru Yoshida, a commodity analyst with Rakuten Securities, highlighted that the significant stockpiles have heightened investor worries.
Moreover, the anticipation of delayed U.S. interest rate cuts further weighed on market sentiment, potentially undermining oil demand.
Traders have adjusted their expectations for rate cuts, with an easing cycle predicted to commence in June rather than March as previously anticipated.
Market participants await the U.S. personal consumption expenditures price index for insights into inflation trends, while the possibility of an extension of voluntary oil output cuts from OPEC+ looms over price dynamics, amid lingering uncertainty in the demand outlook and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Crude Oil Shortage Threatens Dangote, Government Refineries, Minister Raises Alarm
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri, has sounded a clarion call over a looming crude oil shortage that threatens the operations of the newly inaugurated Dangote Petrochemical Refinery and government-owned refineries in Nigeria.
Addressing stakeholders at the seventh edition of the Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, Minister Lokpobiri expressed concerns that unless deliberate efforts are made to increase investments and crude oil production, these refineries may struggle to obtain enough feedstock for petroleum product manufacturing.
The Dangote refinery, a colossal project spearheaded by Dangote Industries Limited, has a daily requirement of up to 650,000 barrels of crude oil, while government-owned refineries could need approximately 400,000 barrels.
However, the current pace of crude oil production and investment in Nigeria falls short of meeting these demands.
Minister Lokpobiri highlighted the need to ramp up production and attract investments in the upstream sector to ensure adequate feedstock supply for the refineries.
He emphasized the importance of efficiently utilizing Nigeria’s abundant oil and gas reserves to enhance domestic energy security and economic prosperity.
Furthermore, the minister underscored the significance of investing in energy infrastructure and transitioning towards more environmentally friendly practices to address Nigeria’s energy needs effectively.
The alarm raised by Minister Lokpobiri underscores the urgency for strategic interventions and collaborative efforts to mitigate the impending crude oil shortage and secure the future of Nigeria’s refining industry amidst evolving global energy dynamics.
NNPCL Pledges End to Nigeria’s Energy Scarcity Within a Decade
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) has announced a bold initiative aimed at ending Nigeria’s persistent energy scarcity within the next decade.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPCL, revealed this ambitious plan during the opening ceremony of the seventh Nigerian International Energy Summit in Abuja.
Kyari’s announcement comes as a beacon of hope for millions of Nigerians grappling with chronic power shortages and energy deficiencies.
In his statement, Kyari expressed confidence that all issues related to energy scarcity in the country would be resolved within the next 10 years.
Assuring stakeholders of NNPCL’s unwavering commitment, Kyari emphasized the company’s dedication to collaborating with partners to bridge the energy deficit gap and foster prosperity for all Nigerians.
He highlighted NNPCL’s pivotal role as a key partner to oil-producing companies in Nigeria, facilitating the divestment of international oil companies from onshore and shallow water assets in the country.
Furthermore, Kyari underscored NNPCL’s statutory mandate as the enabler of national energy security, emphasizing the importance of sustainable production from divested assets to ensure energy security for Nigerians.
In addition to addressing domestic energy challenges, NNPCL is also exploring avenues for sustainable energy investment across Africa.
Kyari revealed the company’s intention to invest in the proposed African Energy Bank, aiming to secure funding for energy projects on the continent and guarantee regional energy security.
The event, attended by prominent stakeholders including government officials and representatives from international organizations, marks a significant step towards reshaping Nigeria’s energy landscape and fostering economic development through improved energy access.
As NNPCL charts its course towards energy abundance, Nigerians remain cautiously optimistic about the prospects of a brighter energy future.
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