By Obas Esiedesa
Officials of the Abuja Zone of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Wednesday raided parts of the capital city for those engaged in illegal sales of cooking gas.
The raid which was carried out in conjunction with men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) saw the arrest of five persons involved in gas retailing and skid operation.
The retailers were found dispensing gas in very dangerous circumstances without the required safety measures.
The team went to Galadimawa and Lokogoma including highbrow residential area, SunnyVale Estate.
Speaking after the operation, the Zonal Operations Controller, DPR Abuja zonal office, Engr. Buba Abubakar said 16 retail plants were inspected with 14 sealed for operating illegally.
Abubakar urged operating without a DPR permit to obtain one from the office in Abuja.
He said: “The reason we went out today (yesterday) was to make sure everybody has permit to operate. If you don’t have permit you should come to the office and with the necessary requirements you will get your permit. We are looking at the safety of the people, their lives and property. By the time you come to the office we will be able to tell you the things you need to have a retail outlet.
“But the way it is now, somebody just wakes up one day and before you know it, he has a retail outlet which is not acceptable. We are here to help every Nigerian. If you really want to have a retail outlet or LPG plant, you come to the office, we will tell you all the necessary requirement in terms of documentation and safety and by the time you get these things done we will process them for you before you are allowed to run a legal outlet.
Asked what is needed to get a permit, he explained, “I can’t tell you how much is required to set up but the requirements are that you have to have your company papers, the site must meet our requirement. You can’t go to a government land and mount your vessel there and start selling. We will tell you the size of the land, measurement from vessel to the fence and whether it is residential, school or mosque.”
Speaking shortly after the raid in Galadimawa, DPR Head of Gas, Engr. Umar Gwandu described one of the outlets as a very high risk operation.
He explained: “This place can easily explode if there is any spark, even with a very tiny leakage, once there is a spark (this place is gone). We have come here severally as you can see from our seal. This people are not ready to comply. If there is any spark here this place can go up in flames in seconds. Look at the immediate environment with gas.”
He noted that basic/standard minimum requirements like fire extinguishers/detectors, water sprinkler, temperature gauge, pressure and volume gauge among others were not present in other illegal facilities.
CBN refutes claims on bank’s financial operations
By Chika Otuchikere
The Central Bank of Nigeria CBN has denied a newspaper (not AUTHORITY) report which claims that CBN’s credit to the Federal Government has risen exponentially in the last four years.
The apex bank in a statement on Wednesday, described the report as “not only false, but an attempt, through sheer mischief, to distort and misrepresent CBN’s financial operations and also to misinform the investing public on the financial health of our country”.
Part of the statement read; “We wish to state categorically that the story is not only false, but an attempt, through sheer mischief, to distort and misrepresent CBN’s financial operations and also to misinform the investing public on the financial health of our country.
“In order to arrive at their plot, the authors of the story had conveniently restricted their report only to CBN’s claims on the Federal Government while ignoring other numerous deposits of the Federal Government, including those of the Treasury Single Account (TSA), with the CBN.
“As can be clearly deduced by any unbiased and informed analyst, when the claims of the FG on CBN are netted against the claims of the CBN on the FG, the resulting net positions indicate that the FG was actually the net creditor to CBN in 2014, 2015 and 2017 to the tune of N2.14 trillion, N1.65 trillion and N0.36 trillion, respectively.
“On the other hand, CBN was the net creditor to the FG in 2016 and 2018 to the tune of N0.11 trillion and N0.34 trillion, respectively.
“From the foregoing and the detailed database, it is clearly inappropriate to compare the position as at end-2018 with the position as at end-2014, ignoring the movements within the period.
“We wish therefore to reassure the investing community and the general public that the CBN remains faithful to its statutory mandate as banker and financial adviser to the Federal Government.