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Explosion: Ogun extends gas sale ban to AC, fridge repairs

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Ogun State Governor Dapo Abiodun

By Dada Jackson

The Ogun State Government has extended the ban on sale of gas to all cooling system servicing and other related repairs (especially for air-conditioning and refrigerating units) across the state until further notice.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr Ola Oresanya, stated this in a statement made available to Newstrends on Sunday.
According to him, this is in furtherance of the state government’s bid for safety of lives and property to an earlier ban on the production, sale and usage of industrial and welding gas in the state.
Oresanya pointed out that this was to allow for proper investigation into recent gas explosions in the state, arising from sources suspected to have engaged in the adulteration of this combustible product, which has led to loss of lives.
He said that technicians specialising in the repair and servicing of these cooling systems, and dealers on the affected gas types, are directed to adhere strictly to this ban in their own interest and that of the public.
His words: “With the recent incident of gas explosions in Ogun State, the state government, in its bid to ensure that no further lives are lost through similar circumstances, or any other avoidable circumstance whatsoever, is placing a ban on all cooling system-related gas sales, purchase and use, until further notice.”
The special adviser called on all dealers, retailers and technicians in these combustible products to comply immediately with the ban as the state government would clamp down on any outlet or individual found to flout the order.
While praying for the repose of the souls of those that had lost their lives in the unfortunate incidents, Oresanya commiserated with their families, saying, “these are trying times, you are in our prayers.”
He called for the understanding of the general public on this new directive, adding that it was taken in the interest of all.
He said that the taskforce set-up responsively by the Prince Dapo Abiodun-led state government would look into the recent incidents of gas explosions in the state.
He stressed that the body would be out to uncover all unethical practices associated with the entire supply chain of the various highly inflammable gas products, suspected to have been adulterated, as the task force had commenced the engagement of critical stakeholders in the energy sector.
Oresanya called on those affected with the temporary ban to bear with the state government as the decision was taken in the interest of public safety.

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BREAKING: Supreme Court restrains FG from enforcing old naira deadline

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The Supreme Court has ordered the Federal Government and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) not to enforce the  February 10 deadline for the phasing out of the old naira notes.

A five-member panel of the court, led by Justice John Okoro gave the order on Wednesday that it was a matter of urgent national importance that the court should intervene.

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The ruling was on an ex-parte motion filed by the governments of Kaduna, Kogi and Zamfara states

The order, according to Justice Okoro, who read the lead ruling, is to subsist pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the state for interlocutory injunctions.

The court adjourned till February 15 for the hearing of the motion on notice and the preliminary objection filed by the defendant – the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), challenging the court’s jurisdiction over the case.

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Fuel, currency scarcity: TUC gives FG seven days ultimatum

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TUC President, Festus Osifo

The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), yesterday gave Federal Government seven days ultimatum to make fuel and currency available to Nigerians, failure which it would call out its members for a nationwide industrial action.

The TUC in a statement by the President, Festus Osifo and the Secretary General Nuhu Toro, said it has already puts its members on red alert.
“Congress is however, not going to wait in perpetuity for the political leadership to put on its thinking cap. Therefore, we demand that the Federal Government within seven days, beginning from Tuesday 7th February, 2023 provides a solution to the twin problems of currency unavailability and fuel shortages,” the statement read.
The labour centre said it shall be monitoring the situation closely and will give further directive should the situation not improve.
“All State Council executives are hereby put on red alert,” adding that Nigeria belongs to the people, not to the government or the birds of passage who hold power.
The TUC leadership said the centre would be willing to make the needed sacrifices, if necessary, to salvage the country.
It lamented that like the rest of the Nigerian populace, is bewildered that the country is being dragged through the twin crises of currency and fuel shortages.
According to the labour centre, never in the history of the country have Nigerians been subjected to so much pain, sorrow and anger which threatens to boil over into the streets, “Indeed, pockets of protests have broken out in some states.”

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It stated, “Nigerians have never been subjected to the nightmare of being unable to access their hard-earned money in the banks leading to business closures and inability to pay for food, transportation and medical bills amongst other necessities.
“Also, the situation where the populace is forced to buy Nigerian currency or part with a significant percentage of cash just to get access to their own money is disheartening and evil. It is unacceptable that a country of laws with a plethora of government and security services in place is unable to curb these crimes against the people and bring perpetrators to book.”
The Congress warned the politicians that it is not interested in the blame game going on in government and political circles, neither is it fascinated by the endless promises and assurances made by the federal government that the situation will soon be brought under control.
But rather it expressed that it is bothered that even the smaller denominations of N100 naira notes and N50 notes that were not affected by the Naira redesign, paradoxically are not in circulation anywhere in the country.
“President Muhammadu Buhari needs to give a marching order to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the commercial banks to make available the legal tender, unconditionally to Nigerians without further delay,” it charged.
The TUC leadership opined that all it demands is the immediate return to normalcy so that Nigerians who are already subjected to an unprecedented runaway inflation, can have access to their hard-earned money.
It added that the lengthy explanations on why there are long queues at fuel stations and prices of PMS being far above the official price can no longer be tolerated.
“All we demand is that petrol returns to fuel stations and is available at the official price across the country,” the Congress stated, warning that the time for government to act is now before the situation gets out of hand and the populace take matters into their own hands.

SUN

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Anti-June 12 elements behind naira shortage, court injunction – Ganduje 

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Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje

Kano State Governor Abdullahi Ganduje yesterday raised the alarm that  ” anti-June 12 elements” were bent on scuttling the nation’s democracy.

He said the elements were “regrouping and dangerously masquerading” in the prevailing crisis generated by the new cash policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to achieve their goal.

Ganduje alleged that the elements consisted of “unknown political parties” working in consort with the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

The governor was reacting to an interim injunction by a Federal High Court in Abuja stopping the CBN from extending the 10-day deadline for swapping old naira notes for new ones. The extension ends on Friday.

Also yesterday, the Federal Government blamed its failure to end the impasse generated by the naira redesign on ”some opposition political parties.”

Ganduje had in a statement in Kano alleged that open support for the naira redesign by the PDP and its presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, showed collaboration between the opposition and the CBN to weaken the masses through harsh policies and thwart democracy.

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The statement by Kano State Commissioner for Information   Muhammad Garba reads in part: “The group’s latest attempt is camouflaging in unknown political parties through the use of a legal instrument to further impose unfeasible cash policy that is taking its toll on the masses.

“The unknown political parties are also allegedly colluding with the main opposition party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), to execute this fiendish scheme.

“It is unfortunate that the CBN and its collaborators are insisting unnecessarily on the imposition of an unreasonable time frame for the old naira notes to cease to be legal tender, in total refutation of the obvious national dearth in the necessary technological infrastructure for the process.

“The rigid insistence on the implementation of these harsh, inhuman and insensitive cash policies to a point of neglecting their widespread rejection by the vast majority of Nigerians, including the National Assembly and all state governors, is an ominous agenda for the undermining of the nation and consequent scurrying of a smooth transition to a freely and fairly elected successive administration.”

In Abuja, Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed also took a swipe at the opposition parties for rushing to court for the order that restrained   President Muhammadu Buhari and Emefiele from extending Friday’s deadline for the naira swap.

He accused the “unscrupulous” parties of playing a political game with the redesigning of the naira and working against efforts that could have reduced the pains being experienced by Nigerians.

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Mohammed, who spoke at the 23rd Buhari administration’s scorecard series in Abuja, however, assured Nigerians that the naira redesign brouhaha would end soon.

His words: “Let me use this opportunity to assure Nigerians that the Federal Government is mindful of the inconveniences currently being endured by citizens as a result of fuel supply disruptions and the recent redesigning of naira notes.

“The government is working assiduously to restore normalcy to these critical enablers of economic activity and to take added measures, where necessary, to alleviate the pains of Nigerians.

“Recall that after his meeting with progressives governors on Friday,  President Buhari urged citizens to give him a seven-day window to resolve the currency crunch that has emanated from the implementation of the Naira redesign policy.

“Unfortunately, on Monday (yesterday), some opposition political parties ran to the court to obtain an injunction restraining Mr President and the CBN from extending the February 10 deadline for Nigerians to exchange their old notes for new ones.

“The court action came after a number of opposition parties threatened to boycott the 2023 general election if the deadline was extended.”

The minister said the move by the parties amounted to legally hamstringing the President.

The Nation

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