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‘I’m Tired Of This Country’, Says Motorist In Akure As Petrol Scarcity Bites, Price Reaches N180/Litre


Consumers of the Premium Motors Spirit (PMS), best known as petrol, in Ondo State are groaning following a scarcity of the product, with one of them telling Saharareporters: “Honestly, I am tired of this country.”

Findings by SaharaReporters on Saturday showed that the scarcity has made many of the consumer to engage in panic buying of petrol in the few gas stations in the state capital, Akure, where the product is available.

A SaharaReporters correspondent who moved round the state capital reported that the scarcity became noticeable late on Friday.

The scarcity was visible in some of the gas stations visited, as their gates were shut while consumers of the product, mostly motorists, were stranded.

However, the few gas stations that sold — at Alagbaka, Oyemekun, Oke Ijebu, Ijapo, Ondo Road and Oda Road — experienced long queues in a stretch of about 200 to 300 metres, thereby causing traffic on the roads.

Long queues were seen at NNPC Mega stations on the highway in Akure, as other gas stations on same route up to Shasha market were closes, aside the popular Showboy Petrol Station.

The Bovas gas station, which is the most preferred choice of motorists on the Oke Ijebi route, shut its gate as workers said there was no fuel to dispense to consumers.

Our reporter observed that these gas stations, which are mostly retailers, have started selling the product at N150 and N180 per litre, which is against Federal Government-approved pump price of N145.

Investigations showed that the major marketers in the state that have the product are now rationing it on high price among Independent marketers willing to cooperate.

It was also noticed that many of the motorists rushing to queue up for the product had no idea of the cause of the sudden scarcity, and the station’s owners were unwilling to talk.

A motorist, Tijani Olakunle, said the situation might worsen from Monday if the government refuses to intervane. He also accused the government of insincerity on the scarcity of the product.

“They are telling us that there is fuel everywhere, thank God you said you are a journalist; can you see the product here now? At least you saw us in the queue sweating inside our vehicle to get the product.

“I don’t think the Federal Government is being sincere with this scarcity of fuel. How can they say there is fuel everywhere while we are suffering to get it here? So, I am calling on them to better act immediately before this scarcity will get worse by Monday becuase people will want to travel back and go to their places of work.”

Another petrol consumer, Babalola Orimolade, whose wife sells cold food inside the Oja Oba Market, said the scarcity is now bitting hard and will have a knock-on effect on their business.

“We need petrol to power the generator to freeze the food inside our refrigerators, and I cannot even stand the queue at the gas station. You can see everyone sweating here to get the product.

“Honestly, I am tired of this country — because it seems it is only we the common man that bears this brunt and those at the top don’t feel what we are feeling. And is this the next level that they came to promise us.

“Here, there is queue and they are selling for us at N150 per litre. If you cannot stand the queue, then you will get black market for N200 per litre. Is this not a big shame on us as country that has oil and still we refine outside the country?”

Niyi Adesida, a commercial driver popularly known as ‘taxi diver’, said the long queues at the gas stations forced him to resort to getting the product from the black market.

“The scarcity is already bitting hard on us as taxi drivers, and the N50 per drop is no longer comfortable for us becuase we now get the fuel at the rate of N180 and N200 per litre from the black market.

“The filling stations are not openining for sale and I learnt they don’t have the product, but where are the black market guys getting it from?”

Shina Amoo, Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) in Ore depot, told SaharaReporters on the phone that the “slight” petrol scarcity was that the product was not readily available in the depots.

Amoo explained that many of the independent marketers were now buying from private depots at an expensive rate to serve the state.

He added that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) was aware of the situation and had been working to proffer solutions.

“My brother, the truth of the matter is that the product is not available for consumption and we are getting the ones we have from the private depot,” he said.

“Just imagine, when we are buying the product to serve the people at the rate of N139 per litre, excluding other expenses of landing cost at the petrol station. But, like i told some persons not too long ago, everything boils down to the Federal Government to make petrol available. I hope this will be resolve before the end of next week.”

Speaking, the Operations Controller of the Department of Petroleum Resource (DPR) in Ondo state, Oseni Adewale, accused the marketers of hoarding the product against the consumers in the state.

Adewale said there was enough petrol to last the state beyond the Easter season, noting that any of the markters caught hoarding the product will be dealt with it.

Similarly, the Ondo State government has promised to arrest the owners of any gas station caught hoarding the product from consumers.

A statement signed and issued by Doyin Odebowale read: “The Ondo State Government views, with grave concern, the latest attempt by some unscrupulous persons to create panic through the hoarding of PMS, fuel.

“This assault on decency is coming at a time when the NNPC continues to reiterate facts on the availability of the product. Nigerians have been assured of regular supply of the product and this Government has no reason to disbelieve the organisation.

“It is against this backdrop that the Government warns, sternly, all petrol dealers in the State, to desist from any unpatriotic acts which may inflict pains on the people. We, on our part, will resist and sanction any untoward practice, conceived and/or executed, to engender hardship in the Ondo State. Any dealer caught hoarding fuel will be arrested and prosecuted.”

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Business

We arrested Dalori, CEO Galaxy Transport for alleged N7bn Ponzi scheme – EFCC

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested the Chief Executive Officer of Galaxy Transportation and Construction Services Limited, Mr Babagana Dalori.

Dalori was arrested for allegedly defrauding no fewer than 27, 400 Nigerians to the tune of about N7 billion through fake promises of mouth-watering returns on their investment in his companies.

The commission’s Acting Publicity secretary, Mr Tony Orilade, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday.

According to the statement, Dalori, who is currently undergoing interrogation in the Commission, had incorporated the firm in 2012 with one tricycle (Keke NAPEP), which through pool investments by members of the public later boasted of 50 tricycles.

“The entrepreneur later diversified into other business ventures while promising mouth-watering returns to investors.

“The commission’s investigators discovered that Dalori initially paid 200 per cent interest on investors’ deposits in the firm and later reduced the interest to 135 per cent before the scheme crashed in 2018.

“To get as many unsuspecting victims into his ponzi net, Dalori engaged in massive advertisements on radio and television, including a production of a movie by A-list Nollywood actors.

“Unfortunately, his gimmicks paid off as different people took their hard-earned savings, inheritance, pensions and other source of income and invested in Galaxy.

“Now, the scheme has crashed and investors can no longer get their money.

“At the moment, he has used the investors money to incorporate different entities without getting their consent.

“He now has Galaxy Global Energy Concept Ltd, Galaxy Miners Concept Ltd, Galaxy Global Farms, Galaxy Computers, Galaxy Block Making Factory, Galaxy Hospital and Galaxy Hotel.”

According to Orilade, all bank accounts belonging to Galaxy have been frozen in order to prevent further dissipation of investors’ funds, pending the conclusion of investigation.

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NDLEA uncovers airport cartel planting hard drugs in passengers’ luggage

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has uncovered a cartel, which specialised in planting illicit drugs in travellers’ luggage.

The NDLEA Chairman, Col. Muhammad Abdallah (rtd), disclosed this in a statement.

The cartel was uncovered after NDLEA detectives embarked on investigation of a Nigerian lady identified as Zainab Aliyu.

Zainab was accused of entering Saudi Arabia with tramadol. The implication in this discovery by NDLEA was the realisation that many Nigerians arrested and executed for drug trafficking in Saudi Arabia might be innocent.

Zainab was arrested by Saudi Arabia Police on December 26, 2018 shortly after arriving for Lesser Hajj.

Zainab, a student of Maitama Sule University, Kano, had travelled from Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) in company with her mother, Mrs. Maryam Aliyu, and sister, Hajara Aliyu.

She was later arrested over allegations that a luggage, bearing her name tag, contained the unlawful substance.

However, while in detention, the NDLEA had received a petition from Zainab’s father, seeking a probe of his daughter’s ordeal.

Consequently, the NDLEA Commander in charge of MAKIA had launched an investigation, which culminated in the arrest and arraignment before a Federal High Court in Kano of seven staff of the airport.

The accused are Idris Umar Shehu (alias Umar Sanda), Sanni Suleiman, Nuhu Adamu, Rhoda Adetunji, Udosen Itoro Henry and Sanni Hamisu.

According to a report of the investigation, a copy of which was made available to journalists yesterday, a suspected cartel in the airport had planted the tramadol-bearing luggage on Zainab.

In the report, which has since been forwarded to the Consul-General in Jeddah for action, it was further established that Zainab who, like her mother and sister, had only a luggage, was not aware that a second bag had been labelled in her name.

The NDLEA said: “Based on the investigation activities carried out, it has been revealed that the said Zainab Habibu Aliyu is not the owner of the second luggage tagged in her name.

“On 24th of December 2018, Maryam Habibu Aliyu and her two daughters, Hajara Habibu Aliyu and Zainab Habibu Aliyu, who are students of Maitamia Sule University, Kano, were to travel to Saudi Arabia for Lesser Hajj. The three passengers had one luggage each.

“At the Departure Hall, three bags belonging to the three passengers were given to one Bako A. Salisu, who weighed the bags, tagged and gave the labels to the passengers.

“Immediately the luggage of the passengers were checked in, Rhoda Adetunji, an official of the Airport Authority (one of the accused persons) approached them, asking for their remaining luggage as the luggage checked-in by the passengers were lower than the total weight they were entitled to travel with – two of their luggage weighed 36kgs while one weighed 17kgs.

“The passengers ignored the said Rhoda Adetunji and went to the arrival hall to purchase yellow card and by the time they came back from the arrival hall to the departure hall, screening for boarding had already started and the three passengers all went for boarding. They never consented nor knew that any other luggage was tagged to the name of any of the passengers.

“On 26th of December 2018 about 12.45 midnight, the Saudi Arabia police came to the hotel room of Maryam and her daughters in Saudi Arabia to arrest one of her daughters, Zainab, on allegation that one of the luggage tagged to her name and passed has prohibited drugs, tramadol. Zainab is presently in detention in Saudi Arabi awaiting investigations and prosecutions.

“Following receipt of the complaint, seven people working at MAKIA were arrested in connection with the offence.

“In the course of the investigations, the telephones of all the suspects were seized by the agency for investigations, while going through the phones of the suspects one after other, it was discovered that the following happened between Sani Suleiman and Idris Umar, alias Umar Sanda.

“On 24th December 2018, Sani Suleiman with phone number 08036066448 was in conversation with Umar Sanda with phone number 08065499791 at 8.26a.m., 12.47a.m., 03.56p.m., and 4 p.m.

“On the same 24th December 2018, Sani Suleiman with number 08036066448 sent a WhatsApp picture of two parcels to Umar Sanda on phone number 08065499791.

“Also on the same 24th December, Suleiman sent a WhatsApp picture of two coloured luggage to phone number belonging to one Alhaji Gabari now at large.”

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Business

Sri Lanka: Denmark’s richest man, Povlsen loses children in bombings as victims’ nationality emerges

Three of the four children of Danish billionaire, Anders Holch Povlsen on Easter holiday died in the Sri Lanka bombing attacks.

Povlsen owns the international clothing chain, Bestseller. He is also the biggest single shareholder in clothing giant, Asos, and is the UK’s largest private landowner.

“Unfortunately, we can confirm the reports,” a Bestseller spokesman said in an email to BBC.

“We ask you to respect the privacy of the family and we therefore have no further comments.”

The death toll in the Sri Lanka attacks is now at 290 and while most were Sri Lankan nationals, 36 foreign nationals are among the dead.

The international victims include: At least eight British citizens – including two with joint US citizenship; three Danish citizens; one Portuguese citizen and six Indian nationals.

Also deceased are: two engineers from Turkey; two Chinese nationals; two Australians, one person from the Netherlands and one person from Japan.

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