Long queues may not disappear soon in Lagos as members of the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) has threatened to stop fuel supply to the state due to intimidation, extortion, and harassment from hoodlums.
According to a letter directed to the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwolu, the association alleged that its members are being attacked and extorted along the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
NUPENG noted that its members are helpless against the “criminals” as several appeals to the security agencies to rise to the occasion have failed woefully.
The letter which was dated ‘ 28, October 2022’ partly read, “We are deeply constrained to bring to your urgent attention, the unwholesome activities of some criminal elements parading themselves along Lekki Free Trade Zone Road…as community youths under the name of Indigenous Unity Forum, harassing, intimidating, and extorting money from every Petroleum Truck Drivers plying the road”.
The association subsequently seek the urgent intervention of the state governor to address the worrisome situation. “We have no other obligation than to demand that your Excellency, as matter of urgency, put a final stop to the unwholesome activities of these criminals and similar elements across the state”.
In addition, the association has warned that if the situation is not brought under control, it would have no choice but to boycott the Lagos market effective from November 6, 2022.
Meanwhile, long queues have resurfaced across several oil stations in Lagos state ahead of the rumored December fuel scarcity and a potential hike in fuel prices. It is observed that several motorists stayed hours at filling stations scrambling for fuel.
This has therefore led to the resurgence of black marketers who sell a litre of oil as high as N300 to N400, Investors King learnt.
Similarly, some gas stations also dispense fuel at a higher price of N200 and above against the approved price of N180-N185 per litre.
While the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association (IPMAN) has attributed the hike in the price of fuel in Lagos to the scarcity of the product, fuel scarcity has also hit other cities such as Ogun, Oyo, Abuja, Niger, and Nasarawa states.
The association noted that “none of the NNPC depots have fuel, thus private depot took advantage of the situation to hike the price”.
FG Plans N3.2bn Loan For Artisanal Miners
The Federal Government through the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development has announced a cumulative loan of N3.2 billion for artisanal miners across the country.
Announcing the development, the Minister of Mines and Steel Mr Olamilekun Adegbite noted that miners who form a cooperative society will be able to access up to N100 million as loan from the pool of N3.2 billion.
According to the minister, the loans will be given at low-interest rates to boost the diversification of Nigeria’s mining industry. Noting that the first step towards accessing the loan is for miners to form a cooperative society.
He noted that once the miners come together to form a cooperative, the ministry of mines will give them the appropriate equipment and licensing.
“Once the miners are registered, they would benefit from all the government incentives like training and free tools,” he said.
The minister added that alternatively, artisanal miners can join a cooperative society to access the loan at just five percent interest with the opportunity to make repayment within a period of 20 years.
Adegbite included that the fund, a sum of N3.2 billion has been deposited with the Bank of Industry (BOI) to essentially make the process a swift one.
He further noted that the ministry has already registered more than a thousand cooperatives. A situation which has brought revenue to the government in terms of royalty.
” I was told we have more than a thousand cooperatives that have registered with us. Some of them have successfully transitioned from artisanal miners to small-scale miners”.
“There are still many of them out there but we are winning because we are winning them over with incentives. So, because they are working, they are paying revenue to the government by paying their royalty, so it is a win-win situation,” he said.
Investors King understands that illegal mining is prevalent in Nigeria, especially in rich deposit areas of Zamfara and Osun State.
This has significantly deprived the government a sizable amount of revenue while igniting insecurity around the host communities.
Conditional Cash Transfer: Federal Government to End it This December 2022
FG to end Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) by the end of December 2022
The Federal Government has stated that it will end the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) by the end of December 2022.
The conditional cash transfer is one of the federal government’s social intervention schemes to help ameliorate the challenges of poor Nigerians and the most vulnerable.
According to the head of the National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO), Dr Ibraheem Adam, the government intervention programme which was launched in 2016 has reached a total of 1,940,325 beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries who are often women, aged persons and the most vulnerable people are drawn from 609 local governments, 6,272 wards, and 48,789 communities.
Dr Ibrahim, who stated this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), commended President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajia Safiya Umar Farouq, noting that the money came in at a time poverty became endemic in the history of Nigeria.
He added that his office also oversee how the beneficiaries were grouped and mobilised for training on how to save and manage their money.
“We bring them into groups where they do rotational savings and contribution which metamorphosed into cooperative societies which they also own and by doing that they can also empower themselves.”
“The beneficiaries are mentored to properly utilise the knowledge gained in the cause of the capacity building at their doorstep,” he added.
Investors King understands that the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) is ending at a time when the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has estimated that about 63 percent of persons living in Nigeria (133 million people) are multidimensionally poor with 72 percent living on the rural communities.
The World Bank had also estimated that 4 in 10 Nigerians live below the national poverty line
A larger percentage of the beneficiaries of conditional cash transfers live in rural areas. The end of the conditional cash transfer could aggravate the financial condition of some of the most vulnerable.
The Memory of Prof. Ibidapo-Obe Comes Alive as Zenith Bank Names Iconic Unilag Alumni Building in His Honour
The memory of Professor Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, came alive as Zenith Bank Plc named the iconic building housing its Unilag Branch and the University of Lagos (Unilag) Alumni in his honour on Friday, November 25, 2022.
In his opening remarks at the commissioning ceremony, the Group Managing Director/CEO of Zenith Bank Plc and Chairman of the Body of Banks’ CEOs in Nigeria, Mr Ebenezer Onyeagwu, lauded the Founder and Chairman of the bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for being physically present at the commissioning of the building to honour the memory of his late friend, Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who served on the board of Zenith Bank as a Non-Executive Director, and for his passion for youth education and digital learning.
He noted the remarkable and continued commitment of Jim Ovia, CFR, to education and youth development in Nigeria, especially through the setting up of James Hope College, a co-educational institution which offers a combination of British and Nigerian curricula, and the James Hope University, which is billed to commence academic activities next year. He also extolled his philanthropy through the setting up of the Jim Ovia Foundation and Mankind United in Total Support for Education Initiative, which has awarded scholarships and produced over 1500 graduates from among indigent people who would not have had the benefit of having a university education.
Onyeagwu also recalled how the bank’s partnership with the University of Lagos began in 2001 with the donation of the first ICT centre, when the Founder and Chairman was the Group Managing Director/ CEO of the bank. According to him, “Today, Zenith Bank has built not less than 15 ICT centres in various tertiary institutions and cities all over the country. And I just want to say that no single institution or individual has been able to accomplish what we have done in that respect. And this is a demonstration of the passion our Founder and Chairman has, not just for education, but also for digital learning and computer literacy. This is in addition to several other support to the university, including the institution of Academic Excellence Awards in 2001, where the best graduating students from selected departments – Banking & Finance, Business Administration, Economics and Accounting, receive awards with financial rewards (currently NGN500,000) and employment opportunity, and the donation of 3,500 tablets to enable indigent students of the university to learn online effectively in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic”. Onyeagwu noted that the building is a strong statement of Zenith Bank’s sustainability initiatives as a signatory to several global sustainability frameworks including the United Nations Principles for Responsible Banking, as it incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Speaking at the commissioning of the iconic building, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Udom Emmanuel noted the huge contributions of Zenith Bank and, in particular, Jim Ovia, CFR, a man he described as a father, to the development of Nigeria. In his words,” when you see things being done consistently in the right way, there is always a man pointing in that direction. A lot of people ask me how come you are doing so much in public service; I say I come from a background where my mentor told me that you don’t report efforts, you don’t give excuses, but you report results. So no matter the situation, even in the midst of an economic recession, in the midst of Covid, you should not stop development and performance. As far as you are from the Zenith family, you are expected to have that creativity and ideas that can make you produce results. In Zenith, we say only the paranoid survive. So I really want to appreciate what I am seeing here today”. Whilst thanking the alumni association and the school authority for their collaborative efforts towards achieving capacity development, which he described as the bane of Nigerian society, he expressed his delight and honour to commission a building named after the revered Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, who touched and impacted so many people while he was alive.
In his address, the National President of Unilag Alumni Association, Dr. John Momoh, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank as well as the management of the bank for the magnificent building and Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe for accepting the association’s request to name the building after her husband as a lasting legacy in his honour. He encouraged everyone to take good care of and maintain the building to serve the university community for years to come.
In her remarks, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola, acknowledged the invaluable contributions of Zenith Bank to the development of the school, promising to work with the Alumni association to ensure that the facility serves not only the Alumni but also the entire students populace. She thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for donating 3,500 tablets to the university, which ensured that students who could not afford laptops for e-learning during the covid-19 pandemic were not left behind.
In her remarks, the wife of the Late Prof. Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe, Mrs. Sola Ibidapo-Obe, thanked the Founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank, Jim Ovia, CFR, for immortalising her late husband with such a great edifice named after him. Recalling how close he was to her late husband, Mrs Ibidapo-Obe said: “You are my husband’s friend. Dr. Jim Ovia has demonstrated the love that does not die in his friendship with my beloved husband. When he fell ill, Dr. Jim Ovia was there from day one till the last moment. I could feel the way he felt. From then, I knew that he was a genuine friend. He tried his best to ensure my husband survived, but he did not”.
The iconic building, which sits on a total site area of 950m2, was constructed by a team of world-class builders who had the mandate of delivering the best quality possible. The iconic structure is a smart building that incorporates many of the elements that make a facility environmentally friendly and sustainable, including a grid-tie solar system that sustains power load on solar and not on a generator or national grid, an inverter-driven VRF air conditioning system and motion sensor lighting to enhance energy efficiency, perforated aluminium composite panels for natural lighting and ventilation, free Wi-Fi system to provide internet access for students, fire management systems, including fire hydrant, smoke detector, and fire alarm system, and a LED screen installed on the building for the dissemination of information. The iconic building will house the Unilag Branch of Zenith Bank Plc and the operations of Unilag Alumni. Of the total 1,665m2 of floor area designated for office use in the four-storey building, 585m2 will be used by Unilag Alumni.
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