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Nigerians groan as fuel scarcity bites harder



Fuel scarcity which surfaced on Monday with queues yesterday spread to many filling stations in Lagos, Ondo and Abia states as well as other parts of the country. Several motorists said they were caught unawares by the sudden scarcity while others believed that marketers were hoarding fuel to cause artificial scarcity.

Still, others blamed the scarcity on panic buying. Motorists in Aba, the commercial hub of Abia State, bemoaned the sharp increase in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN).

Our correspondent, who went round the city, reports that while some marketers around Park Road and Milverton area sold a litre of PMS at either N144 or N145 on Monday but it jumped to between N148 and N150 yesterday.

Some of the transporters, among them Mr. Kelechi Chukwu, said that if nothing was done by the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure adequate supply of the product across the country, there would be an increase in transport fares during the festive season.

They said that the increase had not affected transport fares at the moment. Chukwu said the situation could result in panic buying and hoarding which could give room for dubious individuals to sell adulterated PMS to unsuspecting members of the public. A marketer disclosed that the price of the product depended on the part of the country where they sourced fuel from.

He said: “You may not be aware that when others where selling petrol at N145, I was selling at N144 and the N148 we are selling now (Tuesday) is because of the part of the country where we sourced the product from. So, we will reset the pump price to the approved price as soon as we start getting the product at a normal price.”

There was panic buying in Akure metropolis yesterday as there were rumours of increase from N145 to N160 per litre.

Most of filling stations were closed down yesterday morning except some major marketers, who managed to sell to customers who were on long queues to buy in their cars, motorcycles and jerry-cans.

The scramble to get petrol ahead of the reported fuel hike decreased considerably as many filling stations had begun operations yesterday evening, still selling at the official N145 per litre. However, some independent marketers shut their filling stations to motorists in different parts of the state as at the time of filling this report. A frustrated cab operator, Femi Ajanaku, at Ojota area of Lagos metropolis said: “I am sick and tired of this country called Nigeria.”

The cab driver spoke after waiting endlessly to buy fuel at MRS Filling Station at Ojota. Ajanaku said he had waited for more than four hours in the scorching sun to buy fuel. He said: “It is not easy staying in the sun, waiting to buy fuel. This is a natural gift we are blessed with by God but here we are suffering to get it.

“Countries which are blessed like Nigeria in terms of natural resources are not going through the stress we are witnessing in Nigeria. I have visited about two other filling stations in parts of the state but they were selling beyond the regulatory price. It was a friend of mine who directed me to MRS here at Ojota, where they sell their own at N145 per litre. Government should look into it urgently because we are suffering and dying.”

Mrs. Morenike Ogunbajo, a retired civil servant, said while she was waiting for her turn to buy fuel at MRS she prayed for the country to come out of the series of problems confronting it. She said: “I have also stayed in the sun for about two hours waiting to buy fuel, because of the huge traffic at the station.

We have been struggling with petroleum problem in this country for long.

Each government which comes promises to solve it, yet we have not been able to solve the problem. Mr. John Chukwu, a cab operator, urged government to fix the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, saying the traffic in that corridor was preventing the truck drivers to access the depots. He said: “I believe the fuel price has been fixed to the peak, I don’t know where they want us to go now because I heard they want to increase fuel price once more.

They are maltreating us in this country; we cannot continue like there is going to be solution one day.” When our correspondent visited Owena and Biode motor parks at Ojota, transport union members said they had not jacked up transport fare. A driver, who identified himself simply as Oche, who plies Lagos to Makudi in Benue State, said Lagos to Makudi was N5,000.

He said: “We still retain the old fare, but we pray the scarcity does not go beyond this week.” While, Lagos to Ibadan still remained at N1,500 for cars and N1,000 for buses and Lagos to Akure still remained at N2,500, Port Harcourt transport fare goes for N5,000 for cars and N4,500 for buses.

Mr. Jide Idowu, a driver at Owena motor park, said Abeokuta from Lagos remained at N1,000, while Ijebu-Ode was still N1,000 and Sagamu was N700.

According to him, Ore in Ondo State is N1,450, and Ondo town goes for N2,500. He said: “I see no reason why somebody should decide to frustrate the effort of the present government why we the masses are always at the receiving end. Whoever wants to make the country unbearable for us will not know peace because we are dying silently and the elite are enjoying.”

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Metro and Crime

Remarkable achievement! Nigerian-American girl born without hands wins handwriting competition



An inspirational story of a 9-year-old Nigerian-American girl, Anaya Ellick, is trending after she emerged winner of two national awards for exceptional handwriting skills in America. The feat, as outstanding as it is, is made even more remarkable considering that she was born without hands.

A third-grader in the Chesapeake area of Virginia in the United States, Ellick beat hundreds of others who competed with her to the award in competition in spite of her physical challenges.

She was named winner of the 2018 Nicholas Maxim Award, which is part of the 2018 Zaner-Bloser National Handwriting Contest on April 26. Ellick’s tale of extraordinary proportions shows she previously won the Nicholas Maxim Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship when she was a first grader two years ago.

Her story, one of the most profound depictions of the popular maxim – there is ability is disability, indicates that people should never limit the extent of their dreams and aspirations no matter the circumstance. With her feat, the amazing young girl has brought glory not just to her family but as well to Nigeria through academic brilliance.

The accomplishment by the girl, who found a way to be the best at writing despite the fact that she was born without hands, has left many observers wondering how she was able to pull it off. According to the organisers, the award recognises students with special-needs who have developed an exceptional skill in handwriting and even they are astonished that the 9-year-old who was also named winner of the contest’s print category, could do it again on a larger scale.

Being so close to home, Saturday Telegraph gathered that the little girl who doesn’t use prosthetic hands, took an unconventional approach to it all. She took time to learn how to hold a pencil between her arms both for the purposes of drawing and writing.

On account of the feat, her school has taken the lead in celebrating the Nigerian-American on social media. “Greenbrier Christian Academy is proud to announce third grader Anaya Ellick has won the Nicholas Maxim Special Award for Excellence in Cursive!,” a post by the school began.Anaya previously won the Nicholas Maxim Award for Excellence in Manuscript Penmanship as a first grader in 2016 and has claimed the title again with her outstanding cursive writing. “What makes Anaya’s achievement as a National Handwriting Champion so special is Anaya was born without hands and does not use prosthetic.

In order to write, she is able to hold a pencil between her two arms and stand at her desk to get the proper angle needed for writing. “Anaya is an extraordinary young lady. Her tenacity continues to inspire all of us at GCA. She has well-earned first place finish reminds us all what determination and hard work can achieve.

We are so proud of Anaya and her accomplishments. “During our Foundations Academy Chapel, Anaya’s teacher, Mrs. Becky Cannaday, shared a message on our character trait of the month, boldness, and on the importance of letting your light shine for God’s glory.

“Cannaday encouraged students to be bold and reminded our Gators that boldness does not always mean being front and center, but can also be shown by humbly standing alone in doing the right thing, even when everyone else is not. Mrs. Cannaday went on challenge students to respectfully love others and to not be fooled by the world into acting in ways that do not glorify God. “As at the time of going to the press, after Cannaday’s message, representatives from Zaner-Bloser presented Anaya with a monetary award and trophy.

The National Handwriting Contest is an annual event sponsored by Zaner-Bloser to promote legible handwriting,” the message concludes. In a statement, GCA Principal, Tracy Cox, also spoke about the remarkable 9-year-old. “Anaya is a remarkable young lady.

She does not let anything get in the way of doing what she has set out to do,” said. “She is a hard worker and has some of the best handwriting in her class. Her determination is an inspiration to all of us at GCA,” she said.

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Metro and Crime

LCDA creation: Oke Ogun community hails Ajimobi on grassroots devt



Residents of Wewe, one of the 35 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) created from the 33 Local Government Areas of Oyo State on January 16, 2018, have given kudos to the administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi for affording them at the grassroots level the opportunity of directly participating in the governance of the 42-year-old Pace setter state.

The commendation is sequel to the election and swearing in of the Council Chairman, Mr Olaniyi Olusegun Olawuwo, who was the first Caretaker Chairman of the area, created from the Saki West Local Government, and had within a very short period of time touched many of the sectors of the area.

Wewe community is known for its heavy reliance on agriculture, as well as some economic activities like iron pots, shear butter, bakery, table water factories and modern day businesses including tourist centre. Bordered in the East by Saki East Local Government; in the North by ATISBO Local Government; in the West by Saki West Local Government, and in the South by Asabari LCDA, Wewe LCDA covers about 60 kilometres terrain around a waterlogged area with many rivers adjoining Wewe River, which the LCDA was named after. According to Olawuwo, while speaking with Saturday Telegraph, his administration had been able to embark on and completed over 31 various projects including agricultural and natural resources, environment health, education and social services, primary health care, road construction among others.

Olawuwo while recounting his experience as the pioneer caretaker chairman and his mission to transform the LCDA said the creation of the council had in no small measure justified the reason Governor Abiola Ajimobi established the LCDA.

The level of development since the creation of LCDA has really gone deeper into the grassroots in the old local government areas. By the time we are privileged to execute our mission for this LCDA, without mincing words, it would be clear to everyone, even the critics of Governor Ajimobi, that the creation of LCDAs is primarily for the good of our people at the grassroots as promised by our Governor. “When I came on board, it was evident to me that we have a lot to do to key into the vision of our governor in ensuring development across the length and breadth of Oyo State.

You will recall vividly that his administration is championing rural and urban development. The urban cities have been enjoying massive development, so creation of LCDAs will match deep rural development.

“At Wewe LCDA, we came on board with a lot of hopes on our shoulder, hence our resolve to set the area on the road of development. In conjunction with the staff, we have been able to prove that the LCDA will in truth serve as a spring board for eventual development and as a platform to get our people’s view and come up with their actual needs”, Olawuwo said.

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Metro and Crime

Court declares teacher’s sacking ‘unlawful’



The National Industrial Court, on Friday declared as `unlawful’ the dismissal of one Akpomovine Ojo-Gabriel for embarking on maternity leave by the Hillside School, Abuja. Justice Rakiya Haastrup in delivering the judgement ordered payment of her salary and cost of suit.

The judge said the defendant’s failure to recognise the claimant’s maternity leave and refusal to allow the claimant resume after her leave was unjustifiable.

Haastrup said the stopping of her salaries is in breach of the terms of contract of the parties as contained in the staff handbook. The judge said the defendant breached the agreement in the section of the handbook that dealt with maternity leave which the claimant was entitled to as a staff.

“The handbook stipulates one month notice or salary in lieu of notice is required where the employment relationship is to be terminated by either party,’’ she said. Haastrup said the act of the defendant in mandating the claimant to re-apply for her position was null and void.

She ordered the payment of the claimant one month basic salary and any other entitlements that may be due and accrued. The claimant was also awarded the sum of N50, 000 as cost of prosecuting the suit.

The court, however, said the claimant was not entitled to the claim for an order of reinstatement. The claimant’s counsel, Kingsley Osuji, said his client before her dismissal was a teacher at Hillside School, Abuja, until she left for a two months maternity leave which was duly sought for and approved.

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