26 May

Daily Watch – Another fuel crisis cometh, As does 4th Mainland Bridge

  • The Cable is reporting that oil marketers have not resumed importation of petrol despite the increase in price, bringing up the spectre of another petrol crisis. The newspaper quoted an unnamed government official as describing the actions of the marketers as “a stab in the back.” The NNPC had been the sole importer of petrol, but a crippling crisis ensued as the corporation was overwhelmed by the volume of importation. To resolve the crisis, marketers – who stopped importing petrol in the last quarter of 2015, blaming lack of policy clarity – were invited to a round-table by the federal government. Agreements were reached, according to the government, among which were that the marketers would source for forex from the secondary market; and that the price of petrol would be adjusted upward to allow them recover without subsidy.
  • Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, has said that his office has commissioned experts to look into the massive tomato scarcity that has hit the country as a result of a plant disease outbreak. According to Ogbeh, the tomato scarcity was caused by the Tuta absoluta ant infestation which had affected tomato plants in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna, Plateau and Lagos states. Meanwhile, the management of the Benson Idahosa University, Edo State, says that its Faculty of Agriculture has concluded plans to produce 800,000 tonnes of tomatoes‎ per year to cushion the effects the shortage of the fruit.
  • Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has signed an MOU with an investor to begin the construction of a 38-kilometre 4th Mainland Bridge. The bridge, which is geared towards economic growth in the State, is expected to gulp N844 billion in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) initiative and would be delivered in three years. The governor said the proposed alignment of the Bridge will pass through Lekki, Langbasa and Baiyeiku towns along the shoreline of the Lagos Lagoon estuaries, further running through Igbogbo River Basin and crossing the Lagos Lagoon estuaries to Itamaga Area in Ikorodu. The Bridge would also accommodate three Toll Plazas which are still being tested from financial point of view and it would serve as a major boost to the actualisation of the Lekki Master Plan. The project is to be financed by Africa Finance Corporation, Access Bank, and other private investors who have already signified intention to be part of the construction, while Visible Assets Limited would be the coordinating firm.
  • The Kogi State government has announced that the state chairman of the NLC, Onuh Edoka, is a “ghost worker”, and has fired him. Edoka was one of about 9000 people sacked following a screening exercise to weed out illegal workers from the 21 local government areas of the state. Edoka, who serves as head of both the Medical Health Workers Union and the NLC in the state, said he was employed in 1989, and currently serves as a Disease and Surveillance Officer in the state.