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Poisonous Ponmo Floods Lagos Market,Govt Warns Residents

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The Lagos State Government has warned residents of the state against buying ponmo (cow skin), being sold in some markets in the state.

A statement by the Director of Public Affairs, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Adeola Salako, said three persons involved in the sale of the “poisonous ponmo ” in the Ojo and Iba local government areas of the state had been arrested.

The statement said the ponmo was seized in large quantities, adding that samples of the confiscated ponmo had been sent to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control to test their suitability for consumption.

“The Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, who disclosed this in his office today (Sunday) while reviewing report of preliminary investigation and enforcement carried out on the sale of the toxic ponmo in the areas, stated that the three persons involved had been charged to court, while samples of the confiscated ponmo had been sent to the NAFDAC laboratory for suitability test analysis for human consumption,” the statement read in part.

The commissioner noted that the attention of the state government was drawn to the activities of traders who deal in the sales of the poisonous ponmo at odd hours in different locations in the two local government areas.

“Preliminary investigations and suspects tracing revealed that the traders were very active between 4am and 6am at various locations such as Volkswagen bus stop, Iyana Iba, Afolabi Ege Markets, all within the Ojo local government and Iba local council areas of the state.

“Furthermore, a company said to be located at the Ijedodo area of Iba LCDA was indicted as the source of supply of this toxic ponmo and has subsequently been put under surveillance,” the statement read.

Salako called on the public to be vigilant and report any sale of unwholesome foods and food products to environmental health officer in their nearest local government or to the ministry of health.

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NCC says 123m Nigerians now have internet

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The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) says the number of Nigerians with access to the internet has increased to 123.5 million in October.

This is in comparison to the 114.3 million internet subscribers recorded in January 2019; indicating an increase of 9.2 million within nine months.

Data released by the commission also showed that active mobile voice subscribers increased from 174,012,136 to 180,386,316 within the same period.

This means that 91% of Nigeria’s 198 million population now have access to telecommunications services.

MTN Nigeria still holds the lion share of the market, having 67,348,858 subscribers which translate to 36.93%.

Globacom has 51,137,642 subscribers and Airtel, 49,650,155 subscribers.

In total, there are 49 individual internet service providers operating in the country.

These 49 provide services to 274,717 subscribers.

At present, there is a risk of increased charges on the part of service providers as 14 states recently increased their right of way (RoW) charges.

The RoW charge is the levy paid to state governments for laying of optic fibre on state roads.

Some of the states increased the charges to N5,000 per linear metre as against the N142 per linear metre agreed on by the national economic council.

Isa Pantami, the minister of communications and digital economy, has warned the states to reverse the charges as it could lead to increased costs of telcos and a hike in consumer charges.

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Crude oil prices approach $70 after US attack on Iranian general

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Crude oil prices spiked by 4% on Friday upon news that a top Iranian general was killed in an airstrike by the United States military. 

Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for crude oil, stood at $69.01 per barrel, an increase of 4.17%.

US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) also stood at $63.34 per barrel, a 4% increase.

The Pentagon said the attack was carried out on the order of President Donald Trump to deter “future Iranian attack plans”.

It added that Soleimani was killed because he “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region”.

The airstrike comes days after an Iran-backed militia and its supporters breached the US embassy in Baghdad.

Iraqi Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) confirmed that Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy head of the force, was also among those “martyred by an American strike”.

In September, oil prices increased by 14% after coordinated attacks were carried out on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities which cut off 5% of global oil supplies.

Working in Nigeria’s good

Although world leaders are holding their breath awaiting Iran’s next action, the situation is working in favour of oil producing nations like Nigeria.

Already, Brent crude price is $9 above Nigeria’s crude oil budget benchmark.

A reprisal attack by Iran could send oil prices as high as $100 as global crude supply could be threatened.

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Sylva: FG making plans for fuel at N97 per litre

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Timipre Sylva, minister of state for petroleum resources, says the federal government is working to make fuel available at N97 per litre, using the compressed natural gas (CNG) as an option to premium motor spirit (PMS).

CNG is a fuel that can be used in place of gasoline, diesel fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). It is used in traditional gasoline/internal combustion engine automobiles or specifically manufactured vehicles.

Fielding questions from reporters at his office in Abuja on Thursday, the minister said the common man would not notice that subsidy on PMS has been removed when they have CNG as an option.

“If we are thinking of reducing pump price for fuel? I could easily say yes and I’m sure all of you wonder why I am saying that,” he said.

“We are thinking of giving the masses an alternative. Today we are all hooked on PMS, what we want to do going forward is to see that we are able to move the masses to CNG gas.

“CNG unit for unit costs less than even the subsidised PMS. Per litre the subsidised rate of PMS is N145/l. CNG will cost N95 to N97/l that is why I could say we want to reduce the cost of fuel, that way when we are given an alternative Nigerians will not notice when the subsidy on PMS is removed.”

The minister said he is hoping that the petroleum industry bill (PIB) will be passed by the national assembly before May.

According to him, the PIB “has taken us back for too long.”

“We are very ambitious about the PIB and we are hoping that it will pass before May this year which is the first anniversary of this administration and second tenure of this government,” he said.

“We are counting on the excellent relationship between the executive and the legislature but I must say that it is a hope and that is why I am mobilising the support of all of you. We are also mobilising the support of the national assembly and everybody else in the industry.

“Let us build a consensus around the PIB because the PIB has taken us back for too long, it has held us down for too long and we need to get it passed quickly. It is taking us a while to tidy up because we want to take every interest on board.”

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