NNPC Tower

RingTrue with Yemi Adebowale; yemi.adebowale@thisdaylive.com; 07013940521 (txt only)

The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has confirmed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has started implementing N150 per litre as the official depot price of kerosene, poor man’s cooking fuel. As things are, the price of a litre of this product will continue selling at the current price of about N300 per litre in some states, going by the explanation of Tokunbo Korodo, the South-west Chairman of the union.

“The NNPC did not include the transportation of the product or several levies and bank interests paid by marketers. Consequently, marketers will now add all these expenses to the depot price to arrive at N190, N200 or N220 depending on their locations,” explains Korodo. This kerosene crisis has been on for months, without any response from appropriate authorities. The masses of this country are in for tough times in the days ahead. This essential cooking fuel is now more expensive than petrol and diesel. As a result, many are going back to firewood for cooking, with attendant huge damage to our forest resources.

Obasanjo Gets Full Dose of His Medicine
For former president Olusegun Obasanjo, every other political office holder in Nigeria is corrupt, except himself. He has been going around lambasting past and current lawmakers as if he has the moral right to do so. The truth be told; Obasanjo remains one of the leaders that underdeveloped this country. His tenure as president remains one of the most corrupt in the history of this country. Many will remember how he spent billions of USD on power, yet, Nigeria remained perpetually in darkness. I was glad when former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Ghali Na’abba replied Obasanjo appropriately on his allegation that the National Assembly is full of corrupt people.

Na’abba, who was the Speaker of the green chamber during Obasanjo’s first tenure said: “No Nigerian is more corrupt than Obasanjo. He should explain to Nigerians how he became one of the richest Nigerians after leaving office, when he had virtually nothing before he assumed office. I don’t think there is anybody that is more corrupt in this country than the former President. As Speaker, I took Obasanjo on, on various expenditure offences which he committed, which he could not defend and didn’t show any remorse. In fact, that is why sometime in 2002, the National Assembly tried to impeach him. So, he has not got the integrity to call anybody corrupt. This is a man who became the president with nothing, today he is one of the richest Nigerians. Let him explain to Nigerians how he acquired all these wealth.

“I am aware that, during the tenure elongation attempt of Obasanjo, money was shared to the members of the National Assembly. It was alleged that, the Senators collected N50 million, House of Representatives members collected N40 million. But I also know that, it was not all the members that collected this money. Some of them collected, some of them did not. But, I am aware that money was shared.” Thank you very much, my dear Na’Abba. Our great country needs more of men like you. We need to consistently tell Obasanjo the bitter truth.

Oshiomhole Must Settle Pensioners before Leaving
Edo State Government Pensioners were again on the streets of Benin on Monday, to protest against unpaid pension arrears spanning 10 to 42 months. They are also unhappy about the huge unpaid gratuities to retired civil service workers. No doubt, pensioners in this state have suffered untold hardship in the hands of Governor Adams Oshiomhole. They have never had it so bad.

An apparently frustrated Comrade Pully Noruwa, Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Edo State Chapter declared: “We want you to help us to beg Oshiomhole to pay us our money. We have borrowed a lot of money that we can’t pay back. He has promised to pay us and we are looking forward to the day the miracle will happen. Some old pensioners are earning only N2, 000 per month and we have been appealing that the pension should be harmonised.

“Our landlords can no longer exercise patience, some of us have been evicted from rented homes while others now sleep in church premises. We appeal to the governor to pay all the arrears and to also open the pension board. Many of these pensioners are very sick, weak and have no money for medical treatments neither can they meet other financial obligations in their respective homes.”

It is also very depressing to note that about one thousand persons who retired since the dissolution of the Edo State Pension Board are yet to have their pension papers processed. It is amazing that this Comrade governor, who has spent years pummeling civil servants is now asking these same oppressed people to vote for his crony, Godwin Obaseki in the forthcoming governorship election. Oshiomhole is simply clearly asking the traumatised people of Edo State to vote for “continuation of oppression”. Edo pensioners must collectively vote out Oshiomhole, by not voting for his crony.

51% of Nigerian Homes Can’t Meet Daily Basic Needs
The result of the latest “Household Economy Survey” by Philips Consulting shows that the prevailing economic situation in the country had resulted in detrimental effect on the economic security of most citizens and households. This should not come as a surprise to many. According to the report released this week, many Nigerians may have begun to feel the impact of the economic downturn on their socio-economic lifestyles as new indicators have reflected a high level of household economic instability, amid low social welfare intervention from the government.

Philips Consulting revealed that over 51 per cent of its 5,747 respondents considered their households to be either mildly, moderately or severely food insecure, while over 31 per cent of respondents stated that their households had experienced food insecurity for a few months within the past year. It showed further that the rise in consumer price index, fuel price and the harsh economic climate had affected the prices of consumer goods by over 50 per cent. The Buhari administration must raise its game and tackle the debilitating economic crisis in our dear nation. So many homes are bleeding.