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Govt Has No Control Over Cooking Gas Price – Sylva

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Govt Has No Control Over Cooking Gas Price - Sylva

The Federal Government has declared that it has no control over the price of cooking gas.

It says it is difficult to bring the price of cooking gas down as the product is not subsidised by the government and its price is determined by international market forces.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, disclosed this on Tuesday in response to rapidly rising prices of cooking gas that has seen more Nigerians seek other energy sources. He said the government would nonetheless “tinker” with some aspects of gas pricing within its control.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the recent steep rise in European gas prices has been driven by a combination of a strong recovery in demand and tighter-than-expected supply, as well as a particularly cold and long heating season in Europe last winter, and lower-than-usual availability of wind energy.

The prices of cooking gas in Nigeria have more than doubled in the last year with many Nigerians switching to firewood and charcoal.

Speaking with journalists at the presidential villa, Abuja, after a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Sylva said cooking gas is a deregulated commodity and therefore not subsidised. He also said VAT charges on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) imports is also a contributory factor.

“So the price of cooking gas is not determined by the government or by anybody in the industry. In fact, gas prices are determined internationally,” he said.

“And you all are aware that in Europe, today, gas prices have gone up; there was even a crisis in Europe relating to gas prices. So the pricing of gas internationally now also affects the price of gas in the country.

“Apart from that there are some issues around VAT charges on imported gas, and of course, taxes on imported gas, which we are handling.

“But of course, quite frankly, these taxes on imported gas, you must also juxtapose them side by side with the local producers of gas. So if you incentivize the importation too much, then you will also kill the local industry.

“And also, you don’t want to incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, because if you incentivize the local industry at the expense of the imports, then you will not have enough gas produced within the country. So these are the issues of balancing that the midstream and downstream regulatory authorities are handling and I want to assure you that we are quite concerned.”

According to him, President Buhari is also very concerned and aware that the price of gas is high in the market, and “we’re doing everything trying to see how we can bring down the price of gas especially as we approach the yuletide”.

READ ALSO: Why Petrol Subsidy Should Go – Slyva

Asked whether the government will address the situation soon as the yuletide season approaches, the minister insisted that there is little the government can do.

“Well, as I said, this is a commodity, whose price is not determined by us. If you tell us, for example, that crude oil prices are high, there’s nothing we can do about it because crude oil prices are not determined in Nigeria.

“We also, like you, check for what the price of crude oil is for today because it is not determined here. In the same vein, when we see gas prices going up, gas prices are not also determined in Nigeria, just like you, we are also checking what the price of gas is in the international market. But of course, there are some elements of the pricing that we can tinker with.

“And I can assure you that we are doing everything to ensure that those elements’ pricing will be adjusted on our side so that at least it will amount to some reduction. But I will not give you a time or date when that will be achieved. We know that the Yuletide is already upon us but we will see how we can at least make it bearable for Nigerians before then.”

 

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Why Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Expired – Govt

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Why Millions Of COVID-19 Vaccines Expired - Govt

The Federal Government has explained why some COVID-19 vaccines in the country have expired and they were not used.

The Federal Ministry of Health said on Wednesday that some of the vaccine doses which were given by donors had residual shelf lives.

The ministry made this clarification following a report published by Reuters, which stated that over one million doses of coronavirus vaccines were expired in the country last month.

However, the country’s health ministry in a statement by the minister in charge, Osagie Ehanire, explained that the vaccines which were received in form of donations through COVAX and AVATT facility had residual shelf lives leaving the country with a limited period to facilitate distribution and usage.

READ ALSO: One Million COVID-19 Vaccines Expire In Nigeria

The statement partly read : “The attention of the Federal Ministry of Health has been drawn to reports circulating in the media to the effect that some COVID-19 vaccines had expired in Nigeria.

“This press statement is to properly brief the public and set records right. Nigeria has, of late, enjoyed the generosity of several, mainly European countries, who have offered us doses of COVID-19 vaccines out of their stockpiles, free of charge, through COVAX or AVAT facility.

“These donations are always acknowledged and thankfully received. However, some of them had residual shelf lives of only a few months that left us a very short time – some just weeks – to use them, after deduction of time to transport, clear, distribute and deliver to users. If such vaccines arrive back-to-back or are many, logistic bottlenecks occasionally arise.

“We appreciate the kind gesture of donors, but also communicated the challenge of short shelf lives, whereupon some manufacturers offered to extend the vaccine shelf life after the fact, by three months; a practice that, though accepted by experts, is declined by the Federal Ministry of Health, because it is not accommodated in our standards.”

The ministry stated that the dilemma is not typical to Nigeria, but a situation in which many low- and medium-income countries find themselves.

It said: “Donors also recognise a need to give away unused vaccines, before they expire in their own stock, but they need to begin the process early enough and create a well-oiled pathway for prompt shipment and distribution through the COVAX and AVAT facilities, to reduce risk of expiration. With better coordination, vaccines need not expire in the stock of donors or recipients.

“Nigeria has utilized most of the over 10m short-shelf-life doses of Covid-19 vaccines so far supplied to us, in good time, and saved N16.4B or more than $40m in foreign exchange. The vaccines that expired had been withdrawn before then and will be destroyed accordingly by NAFDAC.

“The Ministry of Health shares its experience with partners regularly and now politely declines all vaccine donations with short shelf life or those that cannot be delivered in time.

“The long-term measure to prevent such incident is for Nigeria to produce its own vaccines so that vaccines produced to have at least 12 months to expiration. This is why the Federal Ministry of Health is collaborating with stakeholders to fast-track the establishment of indigenous vaccine manufacturing capacity. This is a goal we are pursuing with dedication.”

 

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Police Arrest Three Housemasters, Five Pupils Of Dowen College Over Dead Pupil

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Police Arrest Three Housemasters, Five Pupils Of Dowen College Over Dead Pupil

The police have stepped up their efforts to find the killers of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. as they have arrested three
housemasters and five pupils of Dowen College, Lagos.

Three pupils of the school were earlier arrested on Tuesday by homicide detectives from the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Panti Street, Yaba.

Sylvester Oromoni allegedly died as a result of the injuries he sustained when he was beaten up by some pupils of Dowen for refusing to join their secret cult gang.

Shedding light on the extent of the investigation carried out so far, the State Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, said that the five pupils mentioned by the late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr. before he died as being responsible for bullying him and three housemasters of Dowen College Lekki were in his custody.

He said nobody was above the law, noting that the case would be thoroughly investigated with a view to getting to the root of the matter.

He said four of the pupils were mentioned by the parents of the victim to be directly involved in the crime while the fifth pupil is assisting the police in their investigation.

READ ALSO: Police Arrest Three Suspects Over Dowen College Pupil’s Death, Two On The Run

The police added that: “The pupils whose names were mentioned are in police custody and investigation is on.

“Equally too, I have gotten in touch with my colleague in Delta State.

“Yesterday, I spoke with the mother of the deceased. I got them invited, so once they come now, we will be able to get the full facts of the case.

“The school has told us their own version of the case and the parents too, we will get their own version of the story.

“The four groups involved in the investigation now are the police, the bereaved family, the Dowen school authorities and the governments of Lagos and Delta State.

“So now, the four groups will come together to witness the post-mortem that will be conducted on Sylvester’s corpse in order to achieve an objective result. So, that is the latest situation.”

 

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Terrorists Burn To Death 30 Bus Passengers In Sokoto

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Terrorists Burn To Death 30 Bus Passengers In Sokoto

Terrorists have burnt to death between 24 and 30 bus passengers in Sokoto State .

The terrorists, known locally as bandits, have in the past year carried out violent attacks targeting villagers and commuters travelling on highways and kidnapped hundreds of school children for ransom in the north of the country.

Sanusi Abubakar, spokesman for the Sokoto Police Command, said the bus was carrying 24 passengers when it was on Monday set alight by armed men and that seven people had escaped with injuries and were taken to hospital.

But two residents who reached the scene and helped retrieve bodies said that the bus was overloaded and the bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

According to reports, the bandits first fired at the bus, before setting it ablaze.

They counted body parts of at least 30 people, including women and children.

READ ALSO: Gumi Protests As Court Declares Bandits As Terrorists

The residents said the villagers were ambushed on a road linking the Sabon Birni local government area and the village of Gidan Bawa.

The terrorists move around on motor-bikes and are known to hide in forests, where they often keep kidnapped victims while awaiting ransom payment.

One of the hospitalised survivors of the attack related his ordeal to Rundunar Adalci, a human rights group.

“I’m from Rumbukawa. We were attacked by bandits yesterday before we reached Bayin Gidan Bawa.

“They shot several people that tried to escape and burnt down the vehicle. I don’t know what happened to my co-passengers but two of us miraculously escaped death,” he said.

Basharu Guyawa, coordinator of Rundunar Adalci told newsmen that they took the passengers to the hospital.

“They were 24 people including men and women on the bus. There were several infants and children in the vehicle.

“For now, we have eight people with several degrees of injuries that have been taken to the General Hospital in Isa town. The chairman of Isa town has settled the medical bills,” he said.

Mr Guyawa said five of the passengers died in the hospital. He said they were three women, a girl and a man.

 

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