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Residents of FCT react to increasing cost of kerosene



Residents of FCT react to increasing cost of kerosene

Many residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have decried the continuous increase in the price of Household Kerosene.

The residents, who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja expressed their views on how the increase was affecting them.

The residents said they had to switch to alternative energy sources for cooking.

NAN reports that the recent data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), had shown that the average price per litre of kerosene increased by 136.04 per cent in one year from N467.97 recorded in December 2021 to N1,104.61 in December 2022.

While on a month-on-month basis, the price increased by 1.94 per cent from N1,083.57 recorded in November 2022 to N1,104.61 in December 2022.

Similarly, the average retail price of a gallon of kerosene increased on a year-on-year basis by 137.15 per cent from N1,582.73 recorded in December 2021 to N3,753 in December 2022.

On a month-on-month basis, it rose by 4.42 per cent from N3,594 in November 2022 to N3,753 in December 2022.

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Mrs Agatha Kalu, a public servant and mother of three, said the incessant increase in kerosene had made her switch to cooking gas as her cooking source.

“I was using kerosene before but I will advise people to forget kerosene for now, because I have compared the price of kerosene and cooking gas, and gas is cheaper to use.

“Kerosene is N1,100 per litre, while one kg of gas is N950. I use one litre of kerosene just to boil water for bathing which lasts for two days but I use 1kg of gas to boil water and cook for three days.

“Yes, gas is expensive but it is still cheaper for me to use compared to kerosene as I have explained.”

Kalu said that the health risks of using kerosene were more compared to gas because of the smoke kerosene emits, adding that it also made her pots black, leaving her with more work to do.

Mrs Esther John, a hairdresser and mother of one, said she switched to cooking gas because she could no longer cope with the increasing price of kerosene.

“I have stopped using kerosene for over six months. I had to close my eye and buy a 12.5kg gas cylinder. I usually buy N5,500 and it serves me for not less than a month plus if I use it every day.

“My sister still uses kerosene and if she buys two litres it serves her for three days maximum depending on what she cooks. So gas is still cheaper.”

John said many people were still scared to use gas because of the danger of explosion, adding that many people could also not afford to buy a gas cylinder.

“You can buy a second-hand kerosene stove for N1,000 to N2,000, but a 12.5 kg gas cylinder is almost N20,000, even a 5kg cylinder is about N12,000.

“It is difficult for them to gather up that money to go and buy a gas cylinder but at the end of the day it is still cheaper compared with kerosene because cooking with gas also saves more time,” she said.

Mrs Jumoke Balogun, a trader, said she had to buy a charcoal stove because she could not keep up with the increasing price of kerosene.

“I used to use a kerosene stove to fry groundnuts, but because of the price I bought a charcoal stove as an alternative to kerosene and it is cheaper.

“You can get charcoal for as low as N200 and it serves me longer than if I buy a litre of kerosene at N1,100,” she said.

Mrs Helen Adejoh, a businesswoman, said she had also switched to charcoal as an alternative to kerosene, however, she said that charcoal had some disadvantages.

“I use charcoal when I am cooking for a large number of people but one disadvantage is the challenge of lighting it during the rainy season.

“It also brings out fumes slightly and over time it accumulates everywhere, especially if the charcoal you are using is not properly burnt.

”To make it easier, you have to use charcoal made from softwood because it lights faster but burns out faster as well. So to balance it, you can mix the charcoal obtained from hard and softwood.”

“Another challenge of cooking with charcoal is that you must exhaust all you are cooking before you quench the fire. There is no on-and-off switch like the kerosene stove,” she said.

Mrs Chioma Nwachukwu, a public servant, said though she still had her kerosene stove, she used more gas to cook because it was cheaper and a neater and healthy source of cooking.

“I prefer gas because it is cheaper and cleaner to use despite the risk of explosion, the cooking time is faster and it is neater than cooking with kerosene.

“When you use kerosene you keep washing your pots because the smoke stains them. I only use it once in a while, It is just a standby in case my gas finishes when I am cooking.

“Government should see how they can bring down the price of kerosene because it is what is easily accessible to the masses, therefore, they should make it available and affordable,” she said. 

Residents of FCT react to increasing cost of kerosene

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CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds




CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

The Concerned Citizens of North East (CCNE), a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, has welcomed a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the immediate release of funds earmarked for local government areas (LGAs).

The was contained in a press statement signed by CCNE’s Secretary General Babangida Inuwa Muhammad, marks a significant victory for grassroots development and governance in the region.

The Supreme Court’s decision addresses longstanding issues of fund misallocation and diversion that have impeded local development efforts.

By upholding constitutional provisions ensuring direct allocation of funds to LGAs, the court has bolstered principles of transparency, accountability, and effective governance.

CCNE views this ruling as pivotal, asserting that it empowers local authorities and strengthens the foundation for sustainable development across communities.

“This landmark decision ensures that LGAs receive the financial resources necessary for development and governance, reinforcing transparency, accountability, and good governance principles,” stated CCNE in their press release.

The organization emphasized the ruling’s potential to revitalize local governance, enabling communities to better tackle their unique challenges through empowered local authorities. CCNE called upon relevant authorities to promptly implement the court’s decision, ensuring funds are utilized judiciously to benefit residents.

“We believe this judgment will enhance LGAs’ capacity to deliver essential services, improve infrastructure, and drive socio-economic development,” CCNE affirmed.

CCNE also urged local officials to transparently and efficiently allocate funds, prioritizing projects that directly benefit residents.

They pledged to monitor the judgment’s implementation closely, collaborating with stakeholders to promote accountability and good governance at all levels within the region.

“This ruling signifies a renewed commitment to decentralization and local governance, crucial for addressing community-specific challenges,” CCNE added.

Looking ahead, CCNE reiterated its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Northeastern communities, ensuring local authorities are equipped to drive sustainable development.

They affirmed their ongoing role in safeguarding community interests and fostering an environment conducive to transparent and effective governance.

However, CCNE’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision reflects a broader commitment to advancing accountable governance and empowering local communities.

By championing the efficient use of allocated funds and advocating for sustained development efforts, CCNE aims to foster a region where grassroots needs are met and local governance thrives.

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA



Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 - NECA

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), says the private sector remains committed to the N57,000 earlier proposed at the Tripartite Committee meeting on National Minimum Wage.

NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the amount represented 90 per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

Oyerinde said that this was notwithstanding ongoing challenges, made worst by rising interest rates, astronomical logistics cost, increasing energy tariff and multiple taxes, levies and fees.

“With organised businesses declaring over one trillion naira in combined losses and many shutting down their businesses for different reasons, while others are relocating to other climes, the ability to pay the prevailing N30,000 was already compromised.

“It will be practically impossible to guarantee enterprise sustainability and job security with the current demands of organised labour,’’ he said.

The director-general, however, said that NECA would continue to support the welfare of workers and the protection of their jobs, which could only be guaranteed by the survival of the enterprise.

Following negotiations on the national minimum wage, he urged the tripartite committee to prioritise job creation and job security.

Oyerinde said that the call was in view of the worrisome and increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

According to him, the committee should refocus its effort on protecting jobs, boost the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs and ensure sustainability and ability to pay.

He said that productivity should be a key driver of higher wages.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“In specific terms, the unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent.

“With these figures, more efforts should be concentrated on keeping more people in employment, while government continues to implement its planned interventions in transportation, food security and general macro-economic stability,” Oyerinde said.

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women



Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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