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Yuletide: Long Queues Return To Filling Stations In PH

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Barely a few days to the Christmas, filling stations in Port Harcourt and Obior/Akpor local government areas of Rivers State have begun to witness long queues.
The development, which began last Monday, entered the second day, yesterday, with long queues resurfacing in many filling stations in the two local government areas.
Our correspondents who went round Port Harcourt City and its environs, report that there were queues of vehicles at many filling stations along Port Harcourt-Aba Road, Peter Odili Road, Amadi-Ama, Abuloma, Ikwerre Road, Trans Amadi-Slaughter, Woji and Elelenwo on both Monday and yesterday.
Queues were recorded, yesterday, at filling stations such as Eterna Oil and Mobil at Peter Odili Road, Enyo at Amadi-Ama Roundabout while Linfox at Amadi-Ama and another filling station at Sasun Roundabout did not open to customers.
On Port Harcourt-Aba Road, Oando was seen dispensing fuel to customers who waited patiently on queues for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) while Eterna Oil did not open for business.
There were also short queues at Conoil Filling Station at Education Bus Stop, and a filling station at Igwuruta Roundabout as at the time of filing this report.
However, The Tide’s check around Rumuosi axis and Obiri Ikwerre-Airport Road revealed that almost all the filling stations were dispensing PMS to customers without queue, except two stations that were closed for business.
Within the Rumuosi area, 95percent of the stations were selling, including the NNPC, Whiz Oil and Mobil as at yesterday morning.
Also, filling stations along the Igwuruta-Airport Road were selling without queue.
Further enquiry on why those few filling stations were not attending to customers revealed that the stations were in short supply of fuel.
A filling station attendant in one of the filling stations, Mr Kennedy Obinna, said those stations that were not dispensing fuel did not have the product.
It was further learnt that a few filling stations have jerked up the pump price per litre to between N170 and N180.
For instance, Conoil at Education Bus Stop, Mile One, was dispensing fuel at N180 per litre.
At Iwofe area, the story is not different as only one filling station, Anele Oil, was dispensing fuel to customers.
Others around the area shut down operations with bold inscriptions: “No fuel”, conspicuously displayed at their entry gates.
The Tide further learnt that even the few stations that have the product sell in the night.
The Station Manager, Heritage Oil and Gas, Iwofe, Mr. Agbasi Hector, attributed the fuel scarcity in the area to challenges in sourcing the product.
According to him, “Our trucks have been at the Petrol Star Depot since Thursday, last week, and up till now, we have not loaded.
“Before now, many depots had and sold but now only Petrol Star Depot loads, and the queue cannot be imagined”.
He urged the Federal Government to empower the private depots to import petroleum products to reduce the pressure on NNPC.
Another filling station, Onava Oil, said they have not had fuel for two months now.
Enyo Filling Station also claimed that they did not have fuel, but a reliable source told The Tide that the station had NNPC product, and only sells in the night.
A customer, Mrs. Nkeruka Amadi, lamented the recent development, saying she had not been able to buy fuel because all the stations around her house were not selling the product to customers.
It was, however, a different ball game at Rukpokwu, an outskirt of Port Harcourt, as the PMS sold at the normal N163 as at yesterday.
The issue of panic buying and long queues was also not recorded in the area.
The Tide learnt that some commuters, fearing that the pump price of PMS might soon go up, rushed to Rukpokwu to buy fuel at N163.
However, a taxi driver, Mr Allwell Amadi, who spoke to The Tide on the development, said there was no scarcity of fuel in the state, explaining that he has been buying fuel freely.
Meanwhile, a business executive, Mr John Igwe, has attributed the resurfacing of queues in many filling stations in Port Harcourt and its environs to a mere sabotage ahead of Christmas season.
According to him, the rumour of likely increase in the pump price of PMS has made some dealers to hoard products so as to make more gain.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government has consistently given assurances that this year’s Christmas period would be devoid of the usual Yuletide fuel scarcity.

By: Boye Salau, Collins Walter, Lilian Peters & King Onuwhor

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NAFDAC Alerts Nigerians To EU Ban On Dex Soap

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The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has alerted Nigerians on the ban on Dex Luxury Bar Soap (No 6 Mystic Flower), by the European Union (EU).
The notification is contained in a public alert with No. 012/2024, signed by NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, and issued to newsmen in Abuja yesterday.
“The product does not comply with the cosmetic products regulation; it also contains Butyphenyl Methylpropional (BMHCA), which is prohibited in cosmetic products due to its risk of harming the reproductive system.
“It also causes harm to the health of unborn children and may cause skin sensitisation.
“It is as a result of the defective nature of the product that the EU banned it.
“The products is not in NAFDAC database; importers, distributors, retailers and consumers are to exercise caution and vigilance within the supply chain,” she said.
NAFDAC boss urged marketers and consumers to avoid the importation, distribution, sale and use of the product, stressing that product’s authenticity and physical condition must be carefully checked.
She enjoined members of the public in possession of the product to discontinue sale or use, and submit stock to the nearest NAFDAC office.

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Communities, Volunteers Ready To Face Upcoming Floods – Red Cross

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The Country Manager of the British Red Cross in Nigeria, Karsten Voigt, says communities and volunteers are ready to face the challenges expected with the upcoming floods.
Voigt said this at the sidelines of the 56th Annual General Meeting of the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS), Lagos Branch.
The Tide’s source recalls that the British Red Cross donated resilience items to some communities in December 2023, to help mitigate the effects of flooding.
The items included cash, rain boots, rain coats, mosquito nets, handheld flashlights, solar powered lights with radio, USB chargers and a bridge to link the communities.
The communities that benefited included Agboyi 1, Agboyi 2, Agboyi 3 and Odo Ogun in Kosofe Local Government Area of the state.
Voigt said the Red Cross had measured the impact of the project in the communities and noticed that a lot of progress had been made.
According to him, apart from the cash and items given to the communities, simulation exercises have also been carried out to prepare the volunteers ahead of the floods.
“We have seen that people used the cash to address immediate needs they have after floods.
“Many households have used part of the cash to build up businesses.
“The solutions we have given to them are not only addressing their immediate needs after the disaster but actually building family income for their future,” he said.

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Nimet Forecasts Three-Day Sunshine, Thunderstorms

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunshine and thunderstorm from Monday to Wednesday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook released yesterday in Abuja, forecasts sunny skies on Monday with a few patches of cloud over the northern cities and prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Taraba later in the day.
According to the forecast, sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with prospects of morning thunderstorm over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Nasarawa, Kogi and Kwara States.
“Later in the day, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Kogi and Benue States.
“The southern region is expected to be cloudy with spells of sunshine with prospects of morning thunderstorms over parts of Oyo, Ekiti, Ogun, Ondo and Lagos States.
“ In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are expected over parts of Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia, Ekiti, Ogun, Imo, Oyo, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Rivers, Lagos and Bayelsa States,” it said.
NiMet also anticipated sunny skies on Tuesday with few patches of cloud over the northern states with prospects of isolated thunderstorms envisaged over parts of Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Taraba and Kaduna States during the afternoon and evening hours.
It envisaged the North Central region to be sunny with patches of cloud during the morning hours.
The agency also envisaged isolated thunderstorms over parts of the Federal Capital Territory, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Benue, Kwara and Niger States, later in the day.
“Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South, with chances of morning thunderstorm over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.
“In the afternoon/evening periods, isolated thunderstorms are anticipated over parts of Osun, Ekiti, Ondo, Imo, Anambra, Enugu, Abia, Oyo, Edo, Delta, Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Lagos, Rivers and Bayelsa States ,” it said.
It predicted a sunny atmosphere on Wednesday, with patches of cloud over the northern region, during the forecast period.
“Sunny skies with patches of clouds are expected over the North Central region with chances of isolated thunderstorms over parts of Plateau, Kogi, Nasarawa, the Federal Capital Territory and Benue States, during the afternoon/evening periods.
“ Cloudy atmosphere with intervals of sunshine is expected over the inland and coastal areas of the South with prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebonyi and Abia.”
Other states to experience cloudy atmosphere, are “Edo, Ondo, Ekiti, Ogun, Oyo, Cross River, Lagos, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Delta and Bayelsa States, later in the day.”
NiMet urged the public to take adequate precaution as strong winds might precede rains in areas where thunderstorms were likely to occur.
The agency also urged airline operators to get updated weather reports and forecasts from its office for effective planning in their operations.

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