One cooking aid that is accessible to both the rich and the poor in the society is the Kerosene. It serves to illuminate the house in the dark when used in lanterns and also useful to the grassroots households in cooking their foods. The price of the cooking gas, somehow made it an exclusive of the rich, while the average households settle for the kerosene.
In the past, occasional reports on kerosene explosion were heard with the victims being blamed for what was adjudged, “carelessness on their part” in the course of using the kerosene.
Today, the reports on Kerosene explosion in homes are becoming incessant, and its damages alarming. Within the last three weeks, many lives and properties have been lost while surviving victims are maimed for life.
Considering the reason for the popular patronage the Kerosene receives from households over other cooking aids like gas, the question now is in the face of the prevailing reality, what is the alternative to Kerosene?
According to a source, “when an explosion occurs as a result of wrong application, caution becomes necessary and possible too, but when the problem is from the Kerosene itself, then no amount of caution or carefulness can save its occurrence because the material itself is adulterated”.
It will be recalled that for the past one month, Kerosene supply in town had been somewhat scarce and from past experiences, it is in times of scarcity that all manner of smart deals are perpetrated for “quick” money to the detriment of users of course.
While it is imperative to educate households and every user of this product on how to use, it has become even more imperative on the part of the government through the relevant authority to check the activities of these “smart dealers” who are more concerned with the “quick cash” they make than the safety of lives and properties of their patronisers.
The recent warning by the government against patronising Kerosene hawkers by members of households, may not be very possible.
The reason is that even if every household within the city files out in filling stations where this product is available, it is not possible for those in rural areas to do same we just have to be realistic.
Moreso, it is good that the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources is working with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to ensure that adulterated Kerosene products do not find their way into filling stations across the state.
However, should the Kerosene enters and leaves the filling station, unadulterated, what is the guarantee that it would not be adulterated there after by the hawkers?
I think that while we troubleshoot for the course and possible solution to this ugly monster, the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should throw the doors of its filling station open to the public and not limiting it to some selected dealers so that all could have access to the station for the purchase of the unadulterated stuff.
Again, since it has become obvious that adulterations are usually traced to scarcity period. Is it not proper that the government checks the reason for the scarcity of this all important family product?
The current cases of Kerosene explosion is indeed a situation that calls for worries on all stakeholders in the society. A product that has other alternatives, is not that is easily sidelined at the slightest provocation.
Unfortunately, Kerosene is such that we cannot easily wish away hence we have to contend with its challenges and forge ahead with the possible precautions.
First, as the permanent secretary Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources, Dr George Worlu suggests, all Kerosene products must be tested before usage by pouring it on the floor and setting fire on it to observe its reaction.
Secondly, Kerosene product must not be poured into already lit stove or lantern. Instead, pour in the Kerosene first then light the stove or the lamp.
Woman Sells Two Daughters For N300,000 In Ogun
A 35-year-old housewife, Blessing Agoro, has been arrested by men of Ogun State Police Command for allegedly selling her two daughters, Semilore Agoro (four), and Deborah Agoro (two).
The suspect was arrested, following a report lodged at Redeemed Camp Divisional Police Headquarters by her husband, Oluwaseyi Agoro.
The Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi disclosed this in a statement, yesterday.
Oyeyemi said the husband reported that when he returned from travelling last Tuesday he couldn’t find his two daughters.
The PPRO said, “The man stated further that all efforts to make his wife tell him the whereabouts of the children proved abortive, hence his report.
“Upon the report, the DPO Redeemed Camp division, CSP Alabi Akinjide, detailed his detectives to apprehend the suspect, who had already been with the camp’s code of conduct department.
“On interrogation, the suspect explained to the police that her husband left home for the past two years, and while he was away, she found it difficult to cater for the two children with her other two children she had for another man.
“She stated further that while she was contemplating on what to do, one Kolawole Imoleayo introduced her to a couple in Port Harcourt who was in need of children. She sold the two daughters to the couple at the rate of N300,000.
“Her confession led to the arrest of the said intermediary, Kolawole Imoleayo. They are both assisting the police in their investigation.”
The Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun, has ordered the transfer of the suspects to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (SCID) for discreet investigation.
Oyeyemi added that Ajogun directed that the children must be rescued and brought back to their parents as soon as possible.
World Bank Trains 54,000 Women, Youths On Economy
The Kebbi State Government has disclosed that over 54,000 women and youths have been trained by the World Bank to be economically active.
The government also revealed its readiness to reciprocate its achievement recorded in rice production in other products such as onions, sheer-butter and soya beans for exportation purposes.
The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, who stated this while launching women and youth export development facility, in partnership with Nigeria Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), said, the state has comparative advantage in agriculture over other states.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Umar Babale Yauri, Bagudu said, “As you know, Kebbi State is blessed with a population of women who are engaging in rice production and it is now a top talk across the nation due to efforts and support of state governor.
“The state government is trying to reciprocate the achievement recorded in the rice production into sheer butter, onions and soya beans.”
He added that with the partnership with NEXIM, Kebbi State would start the export of soya beans, shea butter and onions.
The Special Adviser to State Governor on Women Development, Hajia Zarau Wali, disclosed that through partnership with the World Bank, over 54,000 women have been trained to be economically active.
According to her, “It is also worthy of note, that the state government in partnership with the World Bank empowered 54,000 women to be economically active through the formation of Women Initiative Group in Maiyama, Ngaski and Argungu local government areas.”
She explained that more women and youths, especially in the rural areas, are actively involved in the production of rice, sheer butter, onions and water melon stressed that they are capable of feeding the nation and exporting the products if they were properly guided.
Wali urged NEXIM to include in their programmes mode of processing and packages of perishable products during their training session for women and youths.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive, Nigerian Export-Import Bank (NEXIM), Mr Abba Bello, had commended the state government over it investment on rice production in the state which has increased the IGR of the state.
“Let me commend the investment drive in the state by your administration, particularly the Rice Revolution, which recently led to the unveiling of the rice pyramid as well as the cassava-based ethanol project with huge prospects for production of biofuel and renewable energy.
“Your efforts in this direction have not only contributed to the significant increase in the Internally Generated Revenues (IGR) but have also positively impacted the socio-economic indices particularly in the areas of jobs creation and sustainable development”.
Eve Afrique Red Ball Takes Centre Stage In PH, Sunday
This year’s Eve Afrique Red Ball event with theme: “Together, Ensuring Peace and Development Across the Niger Delta”, is set to take place on Sunday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
In an interview, the Editor in Chief of Eve Afrique Magazine, Mrs Ivy Davis Etokakpan, said, this year’s Red Ball event is the 10th and will focus on the socio-economic wealth of the Niger Delta region.
She stated that, over the years, Eve Afrique had worked on eight health related issues, but this time, because of times and seasons, “we are focusing on peace and development across the Niger Delta.
According to her, “we hope to achieve this with the cooperation of leaders of corporate organisations in the Niger Delta. We believe that with the cause action on the Red Ball, we hope to do that with our Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Eve Afrique Empowerment Initiative”.
Etokakpan added that this year will focus basically on internship programme for young people by asking partners of the NGO to accept and train secondary school students during holidays in their companies.
She said, “in the past, we used to do vacation jobs in the oil companies, even in our parents’ companies. We hope that our partners would teach our children workable skills. If this is done, the Niger Delta child would know his or her skill and work on it.
“We want these young ones to learn management and accountancy skills through these internship programmes. Our dream is that, in five years’ time, we would have raised a group of’ equipped and empowered Niger Delta youths who in turn will mentor those coming after them. We need to prepare these ones for the future.
At the Red Ball event this weekend, we expect Elsphon Nigeria Alabo (Dr) Emi Membrane-Otaji, Managing Director, to present a keynote address on “Economic Development across the Niger Delta. Also, former MD of NDDC, Mr Timi Alaibe will present a paper on Peace Across the Niger Delta at the event”, she said.
It would be recalled that over the years, Eve Afrique Red Ball has achieved levels of successes over the previous Red Ball events in raising awareness on general health matters, empowerment programmes as a way of giving back to the state and society at large.
Eve Afrique had hosted programmes which include the sickle cell awareness programme, cervical cancer awareness and prevention programme, diabetic management awareness and prevention programme, prostate cancer awareness programme and colon cancer awareness programmes.
Eve Afrique had the mandate of changing the narrative concerning the Niger Delta.
They are on a mission to highlight and showcase the beauty of the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole, she added.
By: Ibinabo Ogolo
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