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Cross River residents groan as fuel scarcity cripples Calabar, other locations

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The scarcity of petroleum products has worsened on its fifth day in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, even as economic, social and political activities are grounded ar the weekend.

Passengers and other commuters in the metropolis were stranded as workers, traders and other businessmen and women, as well as Christians, could not board vehicles to their various destinations.

DAILY POST correspondent, who visited some fuel stations in the Cross River State capital, observed that the gates of the stations remained closed as they have no fuel for customers. However, few stations that have the products, recorded long queues with a litre of petrol going for over 100% increase (N300 per litre).

Fuel at the black market (unauthorised selling points) sold at N400-N500 per litre. Similarly, fuel in Odukpani, Akpabuyo, Akamkpa, Biase and Yakurr local government areas was also not available.

It was gathered that filling stations in these local government areas had fuel last on Friday. A customer, George Akpan, said, “Last time I bought fuel was on Thursday at the cost of N145 a litre but it’s now N300-N350 or more per litre. Black marketers sold it at N350-N400 a litre.

“The scarcity of the product has already caused untold hardship on the residents of the city. It has taken a more dangerous dimension now, especially at this weekend ”

Mr Nakanda Udobong said that the increase has affected the economy of the state as the prices of food stuff have increase tremendously. The cause of transportations, he said, has gone up by 150%. A distance of N50 now goes for N150 or more, “Already, the cost of transportation from one point to another has increase tremendously,” he stated.

Udobong, resident of Calabar South, lamented, “The reason for the scarcity has not been known but we want federal government and President Buhari to intervene urgently so that Nigerians would have blissful week ahead”.

Sadly, the prices of garri and rice, the most stable foods for people of the state, have gone up by 100-200 per cent. More importantly, the scarcity of the product not only hindered economic growth but has caused inconveniences as the long queues hindered traffic flow in the city making some streets impassable.

Also speaking, Chief Eyo Okon said that the scarcity has affected economic activities in the state. “People were seen roaming various filling stations in the state looking for the products that are no where to be found or available to buy.”

Meanwhile, the fuel scarcity has spread to central and northern districts of Cross River State.

The current fuel scarcity may not be unconnected with the state leadership tussle in IPMAN.

The Chairman of IPMAN, Mr. Edet Umana, who was recently inaugurated by the National President of the association in Calabar, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, said despite a judgment of the Supreme Court confirming Okoronkwo and by extension all the state executives put in place by him, a Federal High Court in Calabar had given an order defying the Supreme Court.

Umana said the Calabar Federal High Court order of June 19, 2019, which dictated that the national officers of the party be removed, had emboldened a faction of IPMAN refusing to recognize his authority. The faction has gone around to close fuel stations in Calabar, just as tanker drivers loyal to their faction, refused to lift products at the depot.

“The judgment they secured here undermines the subsisting judgment of the Supreme Court and what we are saying is that they must obey the Supreme Court judgment. What they are doing is illegal and you can see the people are suffering,” Umana said.

An independent marketer in Calabar, Dr Okechukwu Uwazie, the Managing Director of Uwasco oil Nigeria limited, who spoke on the situation, said, “By the virtue of our position we are law abiding citizens. What is going on is that some people form a group claiming they want to hijack this oil business.

“I am surprised that if the Supreme Court has given ruling since December 14, last year in a case they took us to court. Why won’t they be law-abiding citizens? Why should they not vacate the office? Why are they not law abiding citizens? Why are they now putting this crisis?

“Mr Edet Umana is now the chairman by Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo government and the order of the Supreme Court. This is my first time of hearing that Supreme Court will give judgment and you will come to a lower court to seek for interpretation,” he said.

The situation has however led to fuel and kerosene scarcity in the state, with residents subjected to hardship and calling for the urgent intervention of the government in the matter.

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Business

LCCI Tackles Buhari, Says He Can’t Lift 100million Nigerians Out Of Poverty

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Director-General of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Muda Yusuf, has said it is impossible for President Muhammadu Buhari to lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.

Yusuf made the comments while speaking on a programme on Channels Television.

President Buhari had while addressing new ministers at a retreat on Monday vowed to lift at least 100 million Nigerians out of extreme poverty.

But disagreeing with that statement, the LCCI boss said the President had not been collaborating with those, who could help him achieve the goal.

He said, “The President is talking about taking 100 million people out of poverty over 10 years, it is impossible to do that without investors. Because when we talk about job creation, it is not the government that will create the job.

“As we speak, the government is already overstretched in terms of the number of employees that they have and many of them are struggling to pay salaries and with the minimum wage that we are expecting any time soon, it will become even more difficult to create a new job.

“There is no sufficient consultation between those who are managing the economy and the government.”

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Nigerians react as FBI arrests Invictus Group CEO, Obi Okeke

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Reactions are trailing the arrest of the Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Group, Obi Okeke.

He was nabbed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for conspiracy to commit computer fraud.

Obinwanne Okeke made it into Forbes Africa’s 30 Under 30 List in 2016.

He was arrested for over $11 million wire fraud after an Office365 account belonging to a steel company’s CEO was hacked.

The suspect was said to have conspired with several individuals to access the CEO’s computers without authorization.

Nigerians have taken to Twitter to express their opinion on the matter.

Some tweets below:

@Adaolis_a: All these motivational speaker that will tell you to believe in yourself and the world is yours. But they are cooperate fraudsters. Invictus Obi is just one of many. I’m sure they is more to this. Another huge stain to Nigeria.

@9aufal: Invictus Obi’s bad record must not be attached to Nigeria’s identity as a nation, the western media has a way of using incidences like this (which can happen anywhere) to generalize and stereotype Nigerians as criminals. Honest hardworking Nigerians are a majority!

@tosinadeda: On this Invictus Obi case, have you noticed that your regular celebs are not coming online to say “Nobody Holy” … Oh well, that shit only applies when the Nigerian Govt tries to nail fraudsters. Nobody wants FBI wahala, Looool Hypocrites.

@MrLekanAdigun: This Invictus Obi’s story clearly shows that Yahoo Yahoo boys can operate anywhere- even wearing suits. That’s why I hardly believe all these influencers giving Tedx Talks if I can’t trace their sources of income. Most of them do Yahoo as a major side hustle. Run your own race!

@asemota: This Invictus Obi affidavit shows what I have always been saying that Nigerian 419 fraudsters are basic. Their victims are also basic too. How can a company where CFO can authorize millions of dollars in transfer have no endpoint security and transaction authorization security?

@Pmoney_Talks: The sad and most painful thing about this Invictus Obi story, is the fact that it is another major stain, and will make it even harder for legit Nigerian remote workers, freelancers, online business persons to get deals and jobs now. The average Nigerian may not understand.

@Boboye_Ak: Court: How did you catch Invictus Obi as a scammer. FBI: *Publishes 4 page affidavit with facts and some details of the investigation* Court: How did you catch the scammer? EFCC: He had tattoos and iPhone.

@4eyedmonk: The apprehension of Invictus Obi is hopefully a notification to the gutter mouthed “rich” businessman/men with obviously dubious “wealth” on here. Your time is near.

@therealdaddymo1: Invictus Obi – He aspired to inspire, then decided to conspire and now he will perspire because plans don backfire and now FBI don acquire the documents whey dem go use enquire. Forbes list membership don expire and shame don catch una whey dey admire. The entire case na wahala.

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Ondo govt bans operations of Okada riders

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The Ondo State government has placed total restriction on the activities of commercial motorcycles, popularly known as “Okada”, in Ofosu and Ajebamidele axis of the Benin-Ore highway in Odigbo Local Government area of the state.

The state government, in a statement issued on Thursday by the Commissioner for Information, Donald Ojogo, stated that the ban became imperative on the stretch of the road which borders Edo State and Ogun State, due to what it described as the nefarious activities of the Okada riders.

In the statement, Ojogo maintained that their activities will henceforth be restricted within Ore town, pointing out how increasing crime rate in the affected areas are mostly perpetrated under the guise of those riding okada.

The statement read, “Government has observed with serious concern, the activities of some unscrupulous elements who have hidden under the guise of engaging in motorcycle business, popularly also known as Okada, to perpetrate crime on the Ofosu-Ajebamidele route along the Ore Expressway.

“Disturbed by the activities of these criminal elements which include armed robbery, kidnapping, their mode of operations as well as the heightening cases of loss of lives, the Ondo State Government has placed a total ban on commercial motorcycles (Okada) along the entire stretch of the route in question. This action is with immediate effect and shall suffice until further notice.

“By this development, all activities of commercial motorcyclists are henceforth, restricted to internal confines of Ore town and other communities in the area. Security agencies, especially the Nigeria Police, are consequently directed to apprehend forthwith, anyone who flouts this restriction order.

“Government appeals to the general public to co-operate with security agencies in the enforcement of this action in order to stem the growing rate of criminal activities along the area.”

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