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Price of kerosene has increased to N800 per litre just as the market is beginning to adjust to the newly increased petrol and gas prices.
A market survey carried out by The Tide’s source revealed that one litre of cooking kerosene, which was sold at N700 last week, now sells for between N800 and N850 in urban parts of Lagos State, while the price has hit as high as N1000 per litre in suburb areas at filling stations.
Comparatively, in Ghana, the price of a litre of cooking kerosene currently sells for GHS 12.044 (N585) per litre.
Unlike petrol, kerosene is a deregulated product, meaning prices are determined by market forces.
“It’s a deregulated market. It is also a function of the dollar to naira rate and the crude price at the international market. Since cooking kerosene is deregulated, prices can go up, it can also come down,” National Operations Controller, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, (IPMAN), Mike Osatuyi told The source.
The Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) had in June reported an 88 per cent rise in prices of cooking kerosene and Liquefied Petroleum Gas within in one year.
According to the NBS report on “National Household Kerosene Price Watch,” the price of cooking kerosene went up by 86.94 per cent in one year.
The report also said the average retail price per litre of household kerosene, HHK, paid by consumers in May 2022 increased by 15.21 per cent on a month-on-month basis from N589.82 in April 2022 to N679.54 in May 2022.
The state profile analysis showed that the highest average price per litre in May 2022 was recorded in Enugu with N868.75, followed by Ebonyi with N861.11 and Imo with N801.67. On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Bayelsa with N558.06, followed by Yobe with N601.39, and Nasarawa with N603.33.
In addition, the South-East recorded the highest average retail price per litre of household kerosene with N773.09, followed by the South-West with N738.19, and the North-Central with N668.78, while the North-East reported the lowest with N632.06.
On his part, an energy expert, Bala Zakka, while speaking in an exclusive chat with the source, attributed the sharp increase in the price of the products to Nigeria’s continued inability to refine petroleum products for local consumption.
Executive Secretary, Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers’ Association of Nigeria, (DAPPMAN) Olufemi Adewole, told the source that the reason for the continuous rise in prices of cooking kerosene was the exchange rate.
“Cooking kerosene is deregulated so prices depend on foreign exchange. A dollar is now N700 from N600 just last month, so prices will surely increase,” he said.
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The Federal Government, yesterday, said about 3.6million indirect jobs have been created from $1.113billion (about N461.9billion) worth of externally funded projects being implemented by the Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mohammed Abubakar, disclosed this while featuring on the Ministerial Media Briefing organised by the Presidential Communications Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The minister said $538million was approved for special agricultural processing zones to support inclusive and sustainable agricultural development in Nigeria.
Abubakar further stated that another project worth $575million is being implemented to improve rural access and agricultural marketing in participating states while strengthening the financing institutional base for effective development, maintenance and management of rural roads network.
He gave the participating states as Akwa Ibom, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Kebbi, Ogun, Ondo, Oyo, Plateau, and Sokoto.
According to him, government is implementing the Value Chain Development Programme Additional Financing (VCDP-AF) 2020- 2024 to enhance, on a sustainable basis, incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in the production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava.
He revealed that the project is currently being implemented in nine states, including Niger, Benue, Ogun, Ebonyi, Taraba and Anambra, Nasarawa, Kogi and Enugu, “to scale up the achievement recorded in the original VCDP states.”
On fish production, Abubakar said the demand for fish based on the population of the country was $3.6million metric tons but only $1.2million tons being produced.
He further said that the country is importing some species of fish like mackerel because they are not found in Nigeria waters.
The minister also said that the government recruited about 5,000 Agro Rangers that guide farmers against bandits, adding that they are sent to different parts of the country.
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that the quantum of civil construction work undertaken by his administration in developing the state may be cost-intensive but the overall benefits remain a driving force.
Wike made the statement while inspecting some ongoing projects in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City local government areas of the state, last Wednesday.
Projects inspected included the 11th flyover site at Location Junction along Mgbuoba-NTA Road, the site for the 12th flyover at Rumuokwuta Roundabout, the dualisation of Azikiwe Street-lloabuchi Road, and the sand-filled land in Ogbum-Nu-Abali Town.
Wike explained that the inspection became necessary in order to ascertain the impact the projects would have on the socio-economic life of the residents within the areas.
“One of the reasons why we came is to see the impact of the roads and the flyovers. Of course, when the valuers brought the compensation report, we felt that it was too huge. So, we decided to go and see things for ourselves.
“But when we got there, we understood that a lot of buildings will be impacted, and that requires us to compensate the owners of those houses heavily. But it is worth it in order to give Port Harcourt the facelift required and to transform the landscape of the area.”
Wike said despite the attendant cost implication of undertaking the projects, his administration has paid 80percent for the road dualisation to the contractor, Julius Berger, which is also handling the two new flyovers.
“We have been able to fulfil our part to Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. This place now (Illoabuchi Road), we have paid 80percent for the dualisation of Azikiwe Street/Ilaobuchi Road as at yesterday.
“By Monday, we want to start paying for the compensation to owners of the buildings so that Julius Berger can start demolishing the affected structures.”
The Rivers State governor appealed to the residents in the areas, particularly in Mile 2, Diobu, Port Harcourt to show understanding and endure the inconvenience they would suffer while the work lasted.
Wike expressed delight in the show of excitement by the people who throng out to meet him.
According to the governor, the various projects would create employment for a good number of youths within the areas.
“All we seek from them is the normal support they have been giving. We are happy with what we are doing. All we pray is that the residents of these areas should bear with us.
“It’s a short time of inconvenience, but at the end of the day, it is going to be to the benefit of those who are having economic activities in this area.
“In the next six months, you can imagine what will happen here. I think we made a promise to them, and like I’ve always said, every promise made will be fulfilled.”
Speaking further, Wike explained that the next round of projects’ inauguration would commence on August 8, 2022, and last for two weeks.
“From Monday, the 8th August, the Orochiri-Worukwo flyover (Waterlines Junction) will be commissioned by the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, while the Ogbum-Nu-Abali/Eastern Bye-Pass Road will be commissioned on the 9th August by the former Governor of Sokoto State, Aliyu Wamakko”.
Wike enjoined all well-meaning Rivers people to join the government to thank God Almighty for what has been accomplished within the tenure.
He said the capacity of his administration in inaugurating more projects while also embarking on new ones was something that has never been witnessed.
“And I think you can’t hear anything happening in most of the states. But for us, we will end our services to the people on the 29th of May, 2023.
“Like I said, no project will be left abandoned, and that is why we have taken priority to make sure that the finances are there to back up these projects. If we don’t have the money, there is no need of awarding contracts.”
On his part, the Regional Manager of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Juergen Fischer, promised that his company would do all within its powers to deliver the projects according to specifications.
Stakeholders in the education sector in the North-East have said that continuous lowering of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) cut-off mark would encourage competition and educational development in the country.
The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), heads of tertiary institutions of learning, and other stakeholders on July 21, adopted 140 cut-off mark for admissions in the 2022/2023 academic session.
The Board adopted 140 as the minimum cut-off mark for admission into universities and 100 for polytechnics and colleges of education, respectively.
Some of the stakehokders who spoke in Bauchi, Damaturu,  Dutse, Gombe, Maiduguri and Yola, described the move as a welcome development, saying it would provide level playing ground for candidates seeking admission into universities and other institutions.
While others dismissed it as inimical to sustainable development of tertiary education in the country.
A Lecturer in the Department of Sociology Science, University of Maiduguri, Mr Mubarak Tanko, said the lowering of the cut-off mark would not affect the Post-UTME test prepared by the institutions.
He said the institutions were allowed to set their own cut-off mark, the least score which any candidate must obtain to enable him to qualify for the Post-UTME screening.
“Institutions are not allowed to set their admission cut-off mark lower than the JAMB 140 benchmark.
”This means that no public university is allowed to set its Post-UTME admission cut-off mark lower than 140 but they have the right to set it above 140. The same applies to polytechnics and Colleges of Education.
“Competitive schools will likely set their admission mark above the minimum 140 cut-off mark, especially those with high number of applicants, they might set their cut-off mark at 200 and above,” he said.
According to him, the 140 cut-off will avail candidates who score below 200 to get admission in less competitive universities across the country.
In the same vein, Shareef Bunu, an Official of the Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) in Borno, said the UTME score was not the sole determinant of the placement of candidates into tertiary institutions.
He that admission is based on other parameters such as  Post-UTME, A’level qualifications, O’level grades and physical test.
“JAMB gave the institutions free hand to consider any score they deem fit for their candidates,” he said.
Bunu opined the action would give candidates with lower mark to compete favourably and eoacademic excellence.
Also, Mr Idriss Muhammad, a resident of Bauchi, commended JAMB for the gesture, saying it would enhance access to quality tertiary education in the country.
“The 100 cut-off mark for COEs is too low considering the fact that those that will be admitted were potential teachers.
“You are now sending those with very poor performance to colleges and you expect them to become teachers in the future”.
Also, Prof. Salisu Rakum, former Dean, Faculty of Education, Federal University of Kashere (FUK), said that lowering of the cut-off would have adverse effect on the education standard in the country.
He said the trend would make students less committed to their studies thereby affecting their academic performances.
“COEs as potential teacher training centres needed best and competent hands because, the future of every career is in their hands,” he said.
Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Federal University Dutse chapter, who corroborated earlier opinion said the trend would further deteriorate tertiary education in the country.
According to him, the action would produce poor quality graduates who could not compete with their contemporaries across the globe.
Lecturers, he said would find it difficult to train such students since they lack prerequisite requirement and capapacity for advance education.
He said the trend if continued unchecked would made Nigeria to be perpetually dependent on expatriates, especially in medicine, engineering and other specialise fields.
The ASUU official further identified poverty, corruption and poor standard of living, lack of computer literacy or access to ICT as some of the obstacles towards achieving good performances in the UTME.
“Such graduates will find it difficult to secure job in future because they cannot compete with those abroad,” Yusuf said.
Bashir further stressed the need for collective approach to address the root cause for students’ poor performances in the UTME to enable them get the required mark for admission in tertiary institutions of Learning.
Similarly, a lecturer at the Modibbo Adama University (MAU), Dr Mahdi Abba, Yola in Adamawa, said candidates seeking admission into universities should be subjected to academic rigour and competitive entry examinations.
On her part, Mrs Fatima Abubakar, a Lecturer, Computer Department, Federal Polytechnic Bauchi, attributed the low students’ performances in the UTME to the falling standard of basic and post-basic level of education.
She said the basic education level was comatose due to lack of qualified teachers to impart relevant knowledge and skills in their students.
She further blamed school authorities for not adhering to syllabus as well as interference of parents and guardians in ensuring prospering education and discipline of their wards.
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