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Fuel Crisis Looms as Marketers Order Depots’ Shutdown

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Oil marketers under the aegis of Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (DAPPMAN) yesterday directed their members to shut down all depots in the country at midnight to protest federal government’s failure to pay them their outstanding subsidy claims estimated at N800 billion.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has, however, described the action of the marketers as economic sabotage.

The Ministry of Finance had announced, at the weekend, that the federal government had reached an agreement with the marketers after meeting the parties to begin the payment of the money owed them.

But DAPPMAN, in a counter statement yesterday by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Olufemi Adewole, denied the ministry’s claim, saying they never signed any agreement with the federal government, insisting that their planned seven-day ultimatum still stands and ordered the shutdown of depots.

Adewole said, “Premised on our inability to pay December salaries and to avoid owing staff for work done without any hope of pay, it is hereby agreed, since our staff have been disengaged, all DAPPMAN member depots are not in a position to operate hence will shut down all loading operations at midnight, Sunday, December 9, 2018 until the federal government pays our calculated claims.

“This decision is binding on all members of the association and full compliance is expected from every member company of the association. The association shall revert in the same vein with any other directives as might be deemed necessary.”

According to Adewole, the association took the bold step to stop the financial haemorrhage of its members, which arose from the federal government’s failure to pay its members’ outstanding claims.

He said, “As you are aware, the association reviewed the suspension of the ultimatum given to the federal government in December 25, 2017, which was suspended due to the intervention of well-meaning Nigerians and the federal government’s promise to immediately pay marketers the outstanding subsidy-induced debts.

“Unfortunately as at today, and almost 12 months to the date, all we got so far are invitations to meetings and dialogues which have so far not stopped the daily increasing interest on these debts (which are owed to banks, AMCON, PPPRA, and PEF(M)B) and FIRS) and which, also has not manifested as credit to marketers.”

In a telephone interview with THISDAY, the Special Adviser on Media to the Minister of Finance, Mr. Paul Abechi, said the relevant agencies of the government met with oil marketers last Thursday to resolve the subsidy payment controversy, adding that it was unfortunate for any group to claim otherwise.

Abechi noted that people had begun to exploit the political season to advance their interests, adding that to further show government’s commitment to defray the subsidy arrears, it offered to pay the first tranche of N236 billion last Saturday.

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BIG STORY

BREAKING: Markets To Open From 10am To 2pm Daily In Lagos, Ogun During COVID-19 Lockdown — FG

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The Federal Government has announced that all markets in states where a lockdown was imposed (Lagos, FCT, and Ogun) will be allowed to open between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm daily.

The National Co-ordinator of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Aliyu Sani, said this on Wednesday during a briefing by members of the task force.

“For markets, only shops and stalls selling food and groceries shall be allowed to open to customers between the hours of 10:00 am and 2:00 pm,” he said.

Meanwhile, for supermarkets and food stores, their opening hours must be between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm and all owners and managers have been warned to screen staff and customers before entry.

“On arrival, all staff must be screened for a high temperature and all those found to have a high body temperature above 38, will be denied entry and advised to seek immediate medical attention.

“All deliveries for supplies and products for these supermarkets must be made between the hours of 5:00 am and 9:00 am,” Sani added.

He further stated that at any point in time, the total number of customers inside each store must not exceed a third of the store’s total capacity.

After their closure at 4:00 pm, Sani urged shop owners to ensure that all shelves, aisles, and stores are cleaned and disinfected and by 6:00 pm, staff are conveyed back to their respective homes.

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JUST IN: American Diagnosed Of Coronavirus Evacuated From Nigeria To US

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An American citizen diagnosed with COVID-19 in Lagos state has been evacuated to the US.

Akin Abayomi, the state commissioner for health, broke the news in a tweet on Wednesday.

He said the state has recorded 82 coronavirus cases, which is the highest toll recorded by any state in the country.

Abayomi said eight patients have recovered from the disease in the state and have been discharged.

“Total #COVID19 Lagos cases is now 82. 8 patients have so far been discharged following their full recovery. One of the confirmed cases who is an American citizen has been evacuated to the USA,” the tweet read.

Nigeria has recorded 151 coronavirus cases.

Of the 151 confirmed cases, Lagos has 82; FCT 28, and Osun 14.

Oyo has eight cases, while Ogun and Edo states have four cases each.

Kaduna has three, while Ekiti, Enugu, and Bauchi states have two cases each.

Rivers and Benue states have recorded one case each.

A total of nine persons have recovered from the disease in the country.

Nigeria has recorded only two deaths from the disease so far.

Suleiman Achimugu, a former managing director of the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC), died of the disease and was Nigeria’s first fatality.

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Identity Of The Second Nigerian To Die Of COVID-19 Revealed [DETAILS]

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The identity of the second Nigerian to die of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country has been unmasked.

Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Enahire, had announced the death on Monday at a press briefing in Abuja, disclosing that the death occurred last weekend but refused to disclose the identity of the victim.

Reports yesterday from the South-East, however, lifted the lid on the “mystery”, pointing in the direction of the CEO of Fancy Hotel, Owerri, Mr. Christogonus Aguwa Osuagwu, who recently returned home from Europe, where Coronavirus is literally on fire.

“Instead of subjecting himself to test, he flew to Abuja where he died (on Sunday),” according to one report.

His hotel located at Umuguma in Owerri “has been shut down . . . by the Imo State Government while all the guests quarantined.

His immediate family whom he visited in Ahiazu Mbaise as soon as he came back from Europe have also been quarantined,” the report further said.

The first person to die of COVID-19 in Nigeria was Engr. Suleiman Achimugu, a former Managing Director of the Products and Pipelines Marketing Company (PPMC).

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