May 31, 2023

Global News

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Infected health workers rise from 40 to 113 in one week

9 min read
  • COVID-19 patients seeking alternative treatment, FG laments

  • Donate your buildings as isolation centres, minister begs Nigerians

  • Sanwo-Olu blames late border, airport closure for spread

The Minister of Health, Dr Osagie  Ehanire, on Thursday, revealed that 113 health workers had been infected with COVID-19.

Ehanire, who disclosed this at the press briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja,  said  they included  workers in the public and private health facilities.

He, therefore, reiterated his advice to health workers   that it was dangerous to treat coronavirus patients without using personal protective equipment.

The minister  had, at the task force media briefing in Abuja on April 23, said about 40 health workers in the country had tested positive for coronavirus.

Ehanaire, who lauded health workers for their commitment to the war against COVID-19, warned them against treating patients without the PPE.


He said, “Please, do not treat any patient without using the PPE. Frontline health workers must undertake refresher training at intervals. This warning has become necessary due to the number of health workers, who have tested positive for COVID-19.  They are over 40 now and they have been quarantined.”

But the Nigerian Medical Association, through its National President, Dr Francis Faduyile, in its reaction, said most of those who contracted COVID-19 were not health workers treating COVID-19 patients, but personnel in other hospitals.


On Thursday, the health minister said the risk of being infected with COVID-19 was the reason why the task force warned health workers against treating patients without   using the PPE.

He said, “The latest figure we have is that 113 health workers have been infected. They are not all public health workers. There are some from private hospitals.

“If you hear us speak frequently against treating coronavirus in private clinics, we are actually referring to people who do so without precaution and training. They risk infecting themselves and their families. Health care workers with no training have no business handling coronavirus.

 “As for those who do not have equipment, we have said that we will provide the protective equipment. Let me remind you that there is a global shortage. They (the pieces of equipment) are really scarce but we are doing what we can to make sure our frontline workers have the requirement. We also have a stockpile that we can send quickly. For example, we sent a stockpile to Kano.”

The minister also stated  that the country would be in a difficult position if infected persons continued to hide  or seek alternative treatment instead of approaching government.

He added, “People should come out and seek treatment, not to hide. The ones that we worry most about are the people who hide and look for alternative treatment. They are lost to our counting.”

Quit, if you can’t cope, minister tells frontline health workers

The minister noted that health care workers went through a lot of pressure during a crisis period.  He called on those who could not handle the pressure to quit.

He, however, said that government would continue to provide mental health and counselling support for those feeling the impact of the pressure.

He said, “It is very important for health care workers to realise that nobody is forced.  Everybody is a volunteer. Those who cannot handle it have the option of being asked to be excused and someone else will come in.”


The minister allayed the fear of survival for those infected with COVID-19, saying that enough evidence had shown that the majority of infected persons would survive the virus.

“The recovery rate is 95 per cent or more. Out of 100 people that are infected, about 80 of them will have mild or no symptoms. Fifteen will have fairly severe symptoms, but not critical, while less than five per cent will have critical symptoms.

“What this means is that nobody really needs to be afraid. It is a dangerous disease that can affect a large number of people and bring health system to its knees. The five per cent can be so many,  but there is no need to have a stigma.”


The minister allayed the fear of survival for those infected with COVID-19, saying that enough evidence had shown that the majority of infected persons would survive the virus.

“The recovery rate is 95 per cent or more. Out of 100 people that are infected, about 80 of them will have mild or no symptoms. Fifteen will have fairly severe symptoms, but not critical, while less than five per cent will have critical symptoms.

“What this means is that nobody really needs to be afraid. It is a dangerous disease that can affect a large number of people and bring health system to its knees. The five per cent can be so many,  but there is no need to have a stigma.”


Donate your buildings as isolation centres, minister begs Nigerians

He said as the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control  aimed to test two million people in the next three months more buildings would be needed as isolation centres.

The minister stated, “I have appealed to citizens to make their property available temporarily for this purpose. I am sure that after that, there are many property owners who will come up and donate to state governments for a period of time to be used for this function.

“We are not out of space now but we are making the appeal ahead of time so that we have these facilities ready.”

Ehanire said that he was aware that the hazard allowance of health workers in the frontline of COVID-19 fight was being negotiated, but said that it did not include that of environmental health personnel.

Ehanire stated also that test capacity of the 15 laboratories in Nigeria had reached 2500. He, therefore, called on Nigerians to take advantage of the facilities.


Rapid test kits: Don’t put people’s lives at risk, NCDC warns states

At the briefing, the Director General of the NCDC, Chikwe Ihekweazu, said  although each state had the right to make its  procurement decision, it was important to seek advice from the centre  in order not to put the lives of the people at risk.

He said  rapid test kits, which had the capacity to test a large number of people, had yet to be validated by the World Health Organisation.


He said, “We live in a federal structure so every state government can make its own procurement decisions. We can only advise them and the advice has remained consistent with what the evidence shows.

“The evidence at the moment is that rapid kits don’t have sufficient sensitivity, the ability to detect positive cases.

“My responsibility is to make sure that every result we give, if they say people have this disease, they have the highest likelihood that they have it. That is one of the NCDC mandates. I hope they (state governments) will take the advice, if not, they may actually put their own citizens at risk and that is what we don’t really want.”


On a bill at the House of Representatives, the NCDC DG  warned against coming up with a health law in the middle of a crisis, stressing that it might not stand the test of time.

The bill in question is for an Act to repeal the Quarantine Act and enact the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill. It was sponsored by the Speaker of the House,  Femi Gbajabiamila and it seeks to empower the NCDC and make it more proactive.


The NCDC boss stated that it was a good development that state governments were clamouring for molecular laboratories. He said  it would help in building a lasting health system capable of responding to emergencies

Lagos needs more  beds for COVID-19 patients

He also reiterated the need for bed spaces, saying Lagos was battling with a shortage amidst surge in cases.

As of Wednesday, Lagos State had recorded 931 cases, while the total number of people infected nationwide stood at 1,728.


The state has treatment centres at the Infectious Disease Hospital, Yaba and Onikan among others.

But on Thursday, the director general said the state needed more bed spaces for COVID-19 patients.

He stated, “There is struggling (for bed spaces) especially in Lagos. The biggest challenge is Lagos where bed spaces are really tight. Across the country, we have about 3,500 bed spaces identified that are available for COVID-19. We are going to work more to make bed spaces available but we have to change our strategy. We are struggling at the moment. Our policy has not changed, but the pressure is there.


In Lagos, Abuja and Kano, instead of waiting for people to call, we are going to where the patients are. We have set up specific testing locations in collaboration and under the leadership of  states and the FCT to increase the samples being collected for cases that actually meet the case definition.”

He, however, warned against stigmatising COVID-19 positive Nigerians so that they would not be ashamed to come out for treatment.

Ihekweazu said two laboratories were functioning in Kano, adding that another one would be set up soon.


The chairman of the PTF, Boss Mustapha, said the group had sent medical items to aid Kano State’s fight against COVID-19.

According to him,  medical materials such as   280 protective gowns, 51 face shields, 538 examination gloves, 25 boot covers, medical masks and surgical caps and  thermometers have been sent to the state.

PTF coordinator’s father, retired banker die in Kano

The PTF chairman announced also that the task force coordinator, Dr Sani Aliyu, lost his father, Alhaji Aliyu Daneji,  on Wednesday.


Daneji, who was a permanent secretary in the Kano State Ministry of Finance from 1972 to 1975, died at the age of 95.

Also a retired director with the defunct Bank of the North, Rufai Abdulmalik,  died on Thursday morning.

A family source told The PUNCH that Abdulmalik   died at a federal health facility in the city.

A cousin of the late  retired banker, Tiijjani Aliyu, who confirmed the death said,”I have just received the sad news and I’m heading to the hospital.”



There were reports that no fewer than 100 people died in the state within three days. Those who died included professors and  Alhaji Uba Adamu,  the father of the Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University.

Kano to publish pictures of fleeing COVID-19 patients

Meanwhile, the state task force  on COVID-19 says it will soon publish the pictures of the two remaining patients who tested positive for COVID-19 and are still at large.


The Coordinator of the task force , Dr Tijjani Husain, disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH in Kano on Thursday.

Recall that one the three patients who tested positive for  the  virus was arrested and taken to one of the isolation centres in the city. The task force is still looking for the remaining two.

He said the decision to publish the pictures of the fleeing patients was borne out of efforts to ensure that the patients were arrested and brought to an isolation centre for treatment.


“Their pictures will be published in some national dailies and with this, we hope to get them,” he said.

Lagos got largest share of Jack Ma kits –NCDC

In a related development, the NCDC said Lagos State got the largest number of COVID-19 response kits donated by Jack Ma.

The Chinese billionaire, Jack Ma, had donated 100,000 ordinary face masks, 9,999 coverall gowns, 20,000 runs of reagents for testing and 913 face shields to help Nigeria in the fight against coronavirus. The donation to Nigeria was part of the 500,000 kits donated to 53 African countries.


NCDC said on its tweeter handle, @NCDCgov, that Lagos was given 27,678 face masks, 2596 coverall gowns and 165 face shields. It stated that the state got the amount because a priority was given to the state with the highest number of cases at the time of distribution.

The distribution chart showed that Federal Capital Territory got the second highest with 14,115 face masks, 1,906 coverall gowns and 161 face shields. Bauchi, Edo, Osun, Oyo, Rivers and Ekiti states got 1,912 face masks, 291 coverall gowns and 26 face shields, while Ogun got 4,375 face masks, 671 coverall gowns and 58 face shields.


Stay alert, NMA, Tomori  tell health workers

Meanwhile, a former President of the Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof Oyewale Tomori, and the NMA have urged the federal and state governments to provide enough PPE  for health workers in the country.

Tomori,  a professor of virology, in an interview with one of  our correspondents, also urged Nigerians to be honest about their travel and medical histories.

He said, “Government must provide health workers with the basic protective equipment,  They should not be short of that at all. Secondly, they (health workers) must increase their awareness that COVID-19 is around and be more careful. Thirdly, our people must be honest and transparent and tell doctors what their problem is which must include travel history.


The NMA President,  Faduyile, urged health workers to have a high index of suspicion in the discharge of their duties.

He said, “The health workers must have a high index of suspicion in the discharge of their duties. Also, many health workers relax and do not put on the appropriate PPE.

“Health workers must be trained better so that they do not get themselves infected while either donning or doffing the PPE.”

The NMA first Vice President  Dr Kenneth Tijo, on his part, said aside from providing personal protective equipment for health workers, the government must train them in how to use the PPE appropriately.




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Petrol subsidy removal not immediate — Presidency Source Tinubu’s govt By Our Reporters, LAGOS The removal of petrol subsidy will no longer be immediate, Vanguard gathered authoritatively last night. Recall that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had said in his inauguration speech Monday that the subsidy was gone, as it was not provided for in the 2023 budget. But sources told Vanguard yesterday that implementation of the removal of subsidy would commence post-June. The need to clarify issues, sources told Vanguard, informed the meeting the President had with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, Mr. Mele Kyari, in the Presidential Villa, Abuja, yesterday. It was learned that the essence of the meeting was to engage labour anytime from today to ensure the seamless removal of the subsidy. A source said one of the fallouts of the meeting was for NNPCL to set up a template that would ensure that no toxic fuel was imported into the country and also create a benchmark for price. The clarification came as scarcity of the product ground activities in major cities nationwide yesterday. Yesterday, fuel queues emerged in many petrol stations as marketers who started hoarding fuel sold the product for as high as N600 per litre and transporters hiked fares. From the South-West to the South-East, South-South to North-West and other zones of the country, it was tales of woe and fuel crisis gathered steam. Tinubu resumes at Aso Rock, meets with Emefiele, Kyari Meanwhile, President Bola Tinubu yesterday met with the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, and the Group Chief Executive Officer, of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, Mr. Mele Kyari, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on the matter. This was the first official assignment by the President after his inauguration as the 16th president of the country at Eagle Square, Abuja He arrived at the forecourt of the State House at about 2:30 pm through the quarter guard gate, which is his official entrance gate and was received by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the out-going Director of Protocol, DOP, Emefiele and Kyari, among others. Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, it may be in connection with the removal of fuel subsidies and the attendant fuel scarcity. It was learned that the issue of unification of foreign exchange, and recent naira redesign was also discussed. NNPCL backs Tinubu on petrol subsidy removal The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, has backed the removal of subsidy on petrol. The Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, said in Abuja that payments for petrol subsidy had been a huge burden on the company’s cash flow, disclosing that the Federal Government is owing the company N2.8 trillion it paid on petrol subsidy. NNPC Limited was saddled with the payments for subsidy by former President Muhammadu Buhari with the company carrying the cost in its books as petrol under-recovery. The company however deducts the cost from the revenue due to the Federation Accounts from the sales of Federation Crude Oil. Speaking to journalists, Kyari said the NNPC Limited “welcomes the decision of Mr. President to announce that the subsidy on PMS (premium motor spirit) is over. This has been a major challenge for NNPC continued operations. We have been funding the subsidy from the cash flow of NNPC since the government is unable to defray the cost of the subsidy that is due to the corporation. “We believe that this will free up resources for the NNPC to do the great work that this company is doing for our country and it allows us to continue to operate as a commercial entity”. While assuring consumers that NNPC has enough stock of petrol in the supply system, he appealed the potential change in pump should not be enough reason for people to engage in panic-buying. Also speaking, the Chief Executive of Nigerian Mainstream and Downstream Regulatory Authority, Faruk Ahmed, said that with the removal of subsidy, there would be no price cap on the sale of petroleum products in the country. Ahmed said President Tinubu’s pronouncement in his inaugural speech on the removal of subsidy was in line with the law. He said that the Federal Government has not been financing subsidies since 2022, adding, “the reality today is that the government cannot afford it.” Subsidy ‘ll end Nigeria if….— Shettima Meanwhile, as many state governments and some stakeholders kicked against the policy, yesterday, Vice President Kashim Shettima stressed the need to end fuel subsidies saying failure to do so would end the country. Speaking to journalists on his first day in office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Shettima said Nigeria needs to get rid of fuel subsidy, arguing that the subsidy regime was not benefiting Nigerians but has been subsidizing the lifestyle of the rich. He, however, assured that despite expected opposition from beneficiaries of fuel subsidy President Tinubu would frontally address the menace. His words: “The President has already made pronouncements yesterday (Monday) on the issue of the fuel subsidy. The truth is that it is either we get rid of subsidy or the fuel subsidy gets rid of the Nigerian nation. “In 2022, we spent $10billion subsidizing the ostentatious lifestyle of the upper class of the society. “We will get fierce opposition from those benefiting from the oil subsidy scam but where there is a will, there is a way. Be rest assured that our President is a man of strong will and conviction. “In the fullness of time you will appreciate his noble intentions for the nation. The issue of fuel subsidy will be frontally addressed. The earlier we do so, the better.” Reps back removal of oil subsidy Indeed, members of the House of Representatives have thrown their weight behind subsidy removal and appealed to Nigerians to be patient with the new government. The House of Representatives at plenary session hailed the removal of oil subsidy and lauded the government for the decision, asking Nigerians to be patient with the new administration. The commendation and the appeal came on the heels of a motion under matters of urgent public importance moved by Mr. Jimoh Olajide representing Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency of Lagos State. TUC rejects subsidy removal, says it’s joke taken too far However, the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, in a statement by its President and Secretary General, Festus Osifo and Nuhu Toro, respectively, warned that it is a joke taken too far. The body while assessing the President’s inaugural speech, said “”While listening to Tinubus’s Inaugural Address, we were at first encouraged by his pledge to lead as a servant of the people (and not as a ruler) and to always consult and dialogue, especially on key and knotty national issues. But we were subsequently taken aback, even horrified, when he announced the withdrawal of subsidy on petroleum products. “If by this, he means increases in pump price and the exploitation of the people by unregulated and exploitative deregulated prices, then it’s a joke taken too far. It is not for nothing the Buhari government pushed this to the new administration. But we expect the Tinubu government to be wise on such a sensitive issue and be more explicit in its pronouncement to avoid contradictory interpretation when comparing his written statement, what he said and the provision in 2023 Appropriation Act. “We dare say that this is a very delicate issue that touches on the lives, if not very survival, of particularly the working people. Hence, it ought to have been treated with utmost caution, and should have been preceded by robust dialogue and consultation with the representatives of the working people, including professionals, market people, students and the poor masses. “Accordingly, we hereby demand that President Tinubu should tarry awhile to give room for robust dialogue and consultation and stakeholders’ engagement.” “This new administration cannot be seen to be speaking from both sides of its mouth, we urge President Tinubu to be a President with a human face,” it added. Don’t panic over removal of petrol subsidy — NMDPRA Also, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, NMDPRA, has cautioned against the current panic over the planned removal of petrol subsidy in Nigeria. In a statement, NMDPRA said: “The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) wishes to address concerns regarding the announcement of the removal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by President Bola Tinubu. “Contrary to speculations and concerns, the announcement is in line with the Petroleum Industry Act (2021) which provides for total deregulation of the petroleum downstream sector to drive investment and growth. “We are working closely with NNPC Limited and other key stakeholders to guarantee a smooth transition, avoid any disruptions in supply as well as ensure that consumers are not short-changed in any form. “The Authority assures that there is ample supply of PMS to meet demand as we have taken necessary steps to ensure distribution channels remain uninterrupted and fuel is readily available at all filling stations across the country. We, therefore, call on Nigerians to remain calm and resist the urge to stockpile as it poses a significant safety hazard. “The NMDPRA reassures all Nigerians that the removal of subsidy on PMS is a step towards building a more sustainable and prosperous future for our nation. We will continue to monitor activities and implement necessary measures to enhance transparency and accountability in the petroleum downstream sector.” MOMAN, DAPPMAN back FG Also, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, MOMAN, and Depot and Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, DAPPMAN, endorsed the removal of fuel subsidy. rances given by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), we wish to reiterate that there is no cause for alarm. We strongly urge Nigerians to avoid panic- buying or stockpiling of petrol. “This behaviour not only creates artificial scarcity but also poses a significant safety hazard. The NNPCL has assured Nigerians of adequate fuel supply and the NMDPRA is working closely with stakeholders to ensure a seamless transition. They are ensuring distribution channels remain uninterrupted, thereby making fuel readily available at all filling stations across the country. “The decision to phase out this fuel subsidy regime is not merely a fiscal reform; it is a significant stride toward social justice. We are heartened that the administration plans to redirect these substantial funds towards essential public goods such as infrastructure, education, and healthcare. These investments symbolize our shared future, promising considerable, long-term benefits for all Nigerians. “We understand the concerns regarding potential price increases. However, we expect marketers to maintain reasonable pricing, as NNPCL remains the sole supplier of the product currently. ‘’We anticipate minimal changes regarding distribution costs, considering the cost of the product constitutes 80% of the pump price. ‘’We pledge, in collaboration with the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, and other crucial stakeholders, to manage these distribution costs diligently to minimize their impact on the pump price. “Considering this policy clarity, we ask our suppliers to continue supplying products to all legitimate marketers. We also urge all stations to remain open and avoid hoarding products. We eagerly await the day when the Dangote Petroleum Refinery, as well as other licensed importers, join the current supplier in a bid to diversify the source of petroleum products and enhance market competition. “MOMAN and DAPPMAN will maintain an open dialogue with the Federal Government, advocating for stability in the oil sector during this transitional period. We are prepared to support any measures from the Government that would help cushion the impact on the populace. We once again laud President Tinubu for his bold vision and stand ready to collaborate with his administration in its effort to promote greater economic equality. The pain in Imo In Imo, Vanguard’s check showed that petroleum marketers who remained open for business, quickly changed their meters from N230 per litre of premium motor spirit to between N350 and N450 per litre. It was also observed that while a good number of the dispensing outlets shut their stations, a long queue of desperate buyers were spotted in the stations that opened for business. Transport fares have either doubled or tripled, since Tinubu made the announcement. Transport fare from Owerri to Mbaise, which used to cost N500 or less, before the announcement has jumped to N1,000 or more, depending on the part of Mbaise the traveler was going. Fuel sells for N450 per litre in Ondo In Ondo State, long queues have resurfaced at filling stations just as the product was sold for between N300 and N450 per litre. Commuters, especially students and civil servants were groaning as they were stranded across the state, following a hike in transport fares by over 100 percent by commercial drivers. Majority of the filling stations were under lock and key, while the few open ones were swarmed with motorists in search of fuel. Queues return at fuel stations in Ogun Also, in Ogun State, residents of Abeokuta, yesterday, woke up to fuel scarcity and long queues in filling stations across the metropolis. Checks by Vanguard revealed that some filling stations in Abeokuta, Sagamu, Ifo, Sango/Ota and Ijebu-Ode were closed, while a few that dispensed petrol had long queues of cars and people. Artificial scarcity, and indiscriminate hike reign in Kwara Artificial fuel scarcity surfaced in Ilorin on Monday evening and continued yesterday as many petrol stations which dispensed the product earlier in the day, including BOVAS which dispensed at N200 per litre, had shut their gates. A few petrol stations sold at N300 per litre. A member of IPMAN in Ilorin, Alhaji Kunle Sanni, told Vanguard on phone that Tinubu’s removal of petrol subsidy was ill-timed, adding that he should have waited for Dangote Refinery to come on stream before removing the subsidy. Frustration as fuel sells for N550 per litre in Anambra Most filling stations in Anambra State did not open for business on Tuesday, while the few that opened sold fuel for between N500 and N700 per litre. Although some people attributed the closure to the declaration of May 30 as Biafra Day, others said the marketers responded to the announcement by President Tinubu during his swearing in that “fuel subsidy is gone.” Shortly after the presidential inauguration on Monday, most filling stations adjusted their pumps to N300 per litre, but on Tuesday, they refused to open for business. Meanwhile, transport fares have suddenly gone up in the state. For instance, a trip to Onitsha from Awka has increased from N500 to N800, while that of Nnewi has increased from N500 to N700. Also, transport fare from Awka to Enugu increased from N1000 to N1200, while that of Awka to Abakaliki increased from N1500 to N2000. Long queues resurface in Kano In Kano, long queues of vehicles, tricycles and motorcycles resurfaced at filling stations across the ancient city. Black marketers in the state, who sold a gallon (4 litres) for N1,300 now sell at N1,700. A few of the filing stations dispensing the product sold at N270 to N300 per litre and many others closed shop. Taraba grounded by scarcity, as commuters remained stranded The situation was not different in Taraba where long queues of vehicles at petrol stations constituted biottlenecks to free flow of traffic. Consequently, commuters were stranded, as transporters hiked fares by as much as 200 per cent. Commuters groan as fuel sell for N750 in Calabar In Cross River State, most filling stations in Calabar shut down, while those selling had hiked the price from N210 to N750 per litre . Vanguard also observed commuters who cannot afford to pay N300 per drop from the usual N100naira, trekking two to three kilometers to get to their offices. When our reporter went round the metropolis yesterday morning, only mega stations were selling at N205 to N210, with very long queues but at about 11:30 a.m they started selling at N400 per litre and eventually shut down. Black marketers sold at between N750 and N800 per litre and are selling only 10 litres per person. Subsidy removal wicked, inhuman act – OSUN GOVT As petrol stations increased fuel price to N300 per litre, with some hoarding the product, the Osun State government, yesterday, described the removal of fuel subsidy by the President as inhuman and an act of wickedness. It also threatened to seal any filling station in the state caught hoarding the product. A statement by the governor’s spokesperson, Olawale Rasheed, described the President’s pronouncement removing the subsidy as unpatriotic. It read: “The attention of the Osun State Government has been drawn to the deliberate hoarding of PMS by the fuel dealers within the State as a result of the statement from the Inaugural Speech of the new President, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on the removal of fuel subsidy, thereby causing unnecessary hardship for the people in the State. “This deliberate action is not only inhuman but also unpatriotic and will not be allowed by the government. To this end, the Special Monitoring Team on fuel scarcity set up by Governor Ademola Adeleke headed by the Chief of Staff, Mr Kazeem Akinleye, is still effective and shall not condone any form of economic sabotage. “As from 30th May 2023, the Committee shall begin special monitoring of all the filling stations across the state in collaboration with law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders. Any fuel station found guilty of hoarding fuel to create artificial scarcity shall be sealed off and operators prosecuted for the crime of economic sabotage.” Oyebanji warns fuel dealers, to shut those hoarding product In Ekiti, Governor Biodun Oyebanji warned that heavy sanctions await petrol dealers hoarding petroleum products, with a view to creating artificial scarcity and hiking prices of the products. The Governor urged the marketers to await further directives on the implementation of the planned subsidy removal by the Federal Government and avoid actions that are capable of inflicting hardship on the citizens. Diri warns marketers against hoarding, price hike in Bayelsa In Bayelsa, Governor Douye Diri directed oil marketers in the state against hoarding and raising the price of fuel. In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, the governor warned that his administration will take stern measures against any filling station that flouted the directive. He said the government had received reports that filling stations in the state capital had hiked the pump price of petrol above the usual price of between N193 and N250 per litre to N500 per litre and above. The Bayelsa governor said it was wicked for oil marketers to swiftly seek to profiteer at the detriment of the people following a mere pronouncement that had not taken effect. Diri said he had directed the Ministry of Mineral Resources and the petroleum task force in the state to shut down any filling station hoarding the product or caught selling above the usual price with immediate effect. Similarly, petroleum marketers and owners of filling stations in Bayelsa State reportedly agreed to sell their old stock at N380 per litre. The product was sold for between N700 and N750 in the black market, while most filling stations remained shut. It was learned that the decision by marketers to sell at N380 per litre was reached after a meeting between the Bayelsa State Petroleum Task Force, the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, and petroleum marketers in the state. According to a source at the meeting, the selling of petrol at N380 per litre will commence by 3pm on yesterday across filling stations in the state.

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