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Business

Nigeria’s explosions timeline from 2019

Nairametrics collates a timeline of all the gas explosions that have occurred since 2019.

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Pipeline explosion: Over 45,000 incidents recorded in 18 years - NNPC

Barely nine months after the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) disclosed that Nigeria had witnessed about 45,347 pipeline explosions across the nation, three other explosions (Gas) have rocked Lagos alone, with two of them occurring within two weeks.

Though the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, who made the disclosure, attributed the development to poverty in surrounding communities, community-industry expectation mismatch, and corruption, the last set of incidents were different as they were gas explosions caused by accidents.

The last two gas explosions definitely called for more attention to be paid to either gas storage, especially in residential areas, or the means of transporting the commodity within neighbourhoods.

READ: NNPC raises alarm over low grade, contaminated diesel in the market

In this tracker, Nairametrics collates a timeline of all the gas explosions that have occurred since 2019. This timeline is updated regularly as new information becomes available.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Lagos was rocked when a gas station exploded in the Baruwa area of Ipaja, Lagos. The explosion, which occurred early on Thursday, has claimed eight lives, razed 25 houses (bungalows) and 16 lock-up shops, according to Lagos State Emergency Agency (LASEMA).

The explosion, according to Director General of LASEMA, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, occurred around 6 am od that day.

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READ: FG projects $2 billion annual revenue from Escravos Gas project

Oke-Osanyintolu said, “The explosion occurred and the agency activated a response plan. Initial disaster assessment is as follows: casualties still being assessed but eight fatalities have been identified so far. 25 houses that are mostly bungalows, 16 lock-up shops and one primary school have been affected.”

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Thursday, September 24, 2020

Two weeks earlier, another gas tanker explosion had occurred at the Ifako-Ijaye area of Lagos, with at least 50 people sustaining burn injuries.

It was gathered from a statement by LASEMA that an unidentified truck conveying gasoline had a lone accident and exploded.

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READ: NNPC seeks Russian firms’ partnership to revamp oil refineries  

July 7, 2020

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) reported a major explosion in one of its upstream facilities. The explosion incident occurred at Gbetiokun, OML 40, which is operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), on behalf of the NPDC/Elcrest Joint Venture.

The incident was confirmed in a press statement by the Group General Manager Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.

He revealed that 7 people were killed in the explosion which occurred during the discharging of Gbetiokun production.

In the statement, Obateru said, “The incident, which occurred on Tuesday during the installation of a ladder on a platform (Benin River Valve Station) for access during discharging of Gbetiokun production, unfortunately caused 7 fatalities.”

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READ: Update: Over 50 buildings destroyed, Gov. Akeredolu reveals cause of explosion

Sunday, March 15, 2020

The Abule-Ado explosion was an accidental explosion and fire that occurred in the Abule-Ado area around Festac Town, Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, Lagos State. The explosion and fire started around 9 am on Sunday, 15 March, 2020; the fire was extinguished around 11 pm.

According to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the incident was caused when a truck rammed into gas cylinders stacked in a gas processing plant near a vandalised petroleum gas pipeline. The Lagos State Government had reported that 276,000 people were displaced.

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The Nigerian National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) announced that as of 15 March, 2020 the number of casualties was 23 persons and 25 injured persons with 50 houses destroyed. This included the students and the facilities at the Bethlehem Girls College, Abule-Ado which was destroyed.

READ: NNPC to end oil-for-fuel swap system

March 28, 2020

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu disclosed that the Akure explosion, which erupted early on Saturday morning, was caused by a vehicle in a convoy transporting explosives to a storage facility in a neighbouring state.

The Governor explained through a tweet that the vehicle developed a fault while in transit along the Akure Owo road. He said:

“Security personnel and other individuals transporting the ordinances noticed smoke from the vehicle. After several attempts to extinguish the resulting fire failed, the vehicle and its consignment ignited causing a massive explosion that was felt in Akure and its environs.”

READ: UPDATED: Helicopter crashes into building in Lagos, claims lives of two crew members

November 29, 2019

A gas explosion occurred in Ajegunle, Lagos, which claimed lives and dozens of shops.

According to reports, the explosion occurred when a mobile call came in as a gas vendor was filling a cylinder for a customer.

The Director-General of LASEMA, Dr Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed that “investigations at the scene revealed that the fire ignited as a result of a phone call by an unidentified resident.”

READ: NNPC reacts to Lagos pipeline explosion

September 29, 2019

Tragedy struck in the late hours of Sunday, September 29, when 13 shops were razed by fire at Adeshola Street, Agodo Bus Stop, Cele Egbe, in Idimu-Egbe Local Council Development Area, LCDA of Lagos State.

Though no fatality was recorded, two adult males suffered minor injuries and were taken to an undisclosed hospital for further medical attention.

A report by the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) which raced to the scene of the incident, revealed that the affected shops gutted by fire were due to a gas cylinder that exploded in one of the shops.

The fire, which was reported to have emanated from a shop that had several cylinders filled with gas, at about 10.15 pm, escalated to a very high degree quickly, and spread to adjoining structures.

READ: Chevron to sack 25% of its workforce in Nigeria

July 4, 2019

At least two people were killed, with several others injured after a gas pipeline exploded in Lagos.

According to reports, the inferno was caused by vandals who broke open a state-run pipeline in order to steal gas. More than 30 vehicles caught fire, worsening the situation.

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March 21, 2019

This happened on a Thursday afternoon and it was around Babs Animashun area right, in front of Census market in Surulere, Lagos State.

It was a gas explosion that started right inside a building. Due to the proximity of a mechanic shop to the building, several cars were burnt; other shops were not left out by the fire.

READ: Abule-Ado explosion: Lagos State Government presents cheques to survivors

It was a sad situation as millions of property were lost, putting many people in debt.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Business

FG explains why the loan for youth investment fund is limited to N300,000

At N300,000 per beneficiary, only 41,000 beneficiaries would be covered in the first tranche of N12.5bn.

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President Buhari to address Nigerians on Lekki toll plaza shootings after investigation , Youth Investment Fund:  Ministry of Finance and CBN to launch provision of funds- Minister, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports launch DEEL initiative

The Federal Government has explained why it limited the loan amount for the current beneficiaries of the N75 billion Nigeria Youth Investment Fund (NYIF) to N300,000.

The government said that it had to place a limit of N300,000 for individuals and eligible businesses who meet the conditions and guideline in order to ensure that it gets to as many beneficiaries as possible.

This disclosure is contained in a statement signed by the Director of Press, Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development, who noted that the disbursement of the fund is being done in phases.

READ: FG launches application for N75 billion Youth Investment Fund at 5% interest, how to apply

What the statement from the Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is saying

The statement explained that the ministry had received more than 3 million applications for the initial N12.5bn made available adding that at the current cap of N300,000 per beneficiary, only about 41,000 beneficiaries could be covered.

The statement from the ministry partly reads, “The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development has been following with interest the reaction of some beneficiaries of the NYIF, particularly those expressing disappointment at the N300,000 cap on disbursement under the first tranche of N12.5bn.

Firstly, the framework specified N250,000 as the maximum for individuals and eligible businesses that are critical can access up toN3m subject to meeting key criteria set in the guideline and conditions.

READ: FG upscales digital skills training, to train 500,000 youths

Considering the number of applications received, there was the need to ensure spread and enable more beneficiaries enjoy the facility.”

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The ministry assured beneficiaries that higher loan thresholds would be possible once additional funds were available in subsequent phases.

The ministry in the statement also noted that it is ideal to start and gradually increase, considering that there are lots of first-time borrowers as well.

The ministry reaffirmed that NYIF was not a grant, but a loan, targeted at supporting the youth to start small businesses or to inject funds into existing small businesses.

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What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had on October 15, 2020, launched the N75 billion Nigerian Youth Investment Fund, which was set up for investment in the innovative ideas, skills, and talents of Nigerian Youth.
  • It is to also institutionally provide the Nigerian youth with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills, and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
  • The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development is the lead implementation entity and is responsible for budgetary provisions and for funds mobilization.

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Business

How FCT residents, businesses are adjusting to ease of lockdown

FCT residents are putting aside the pains of the lockdown period as they go about their daily lives and businesses in the typical resilient fashion that Nigerians have come to be known for.

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On the 2nd of January, 2021, the Federal Government announced the guidelines for the extension of the eased lockdown (phase 3) by one month following the rising cases of coronavirus disease in the country.

The eased lockdown has since seen businesses reopen nationwide albeit cautiously and in line with social distancing and other government protective recommendations implemented. The most heralded of these recommendations, the use of nose masks in public places and social distancing, have been fairly adhered to although, in recent times, it would seem that many Nigerians are moving on from the initial dread that sparked full compliance with these directives in the heat of the pandemic last year.

As with many parts of Nigeria, life has gradually returned to normal in the FCT. On Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency announced the arrival of the expected COVAX Astrazeneca/Oxford COVID-19 vaccines, which today has seen Nigeria record 1,096,727 vaccinations, with the FCT recording 49,192 vaccinations as of April 18th 2021. Although vaccine apathy is still reasonably high, residents are warming up to the idea of getting the required shots to protect themselves and others against the virus.

READ: FCT Minister presents N299.96 billion as 2021 statutory budget

The FCT is typically a ‘Civil Service’ domain but this is not to say that there aren’t other businesses being conducted in the region.  Nairametrics took a tour around the Abuja metropolis to get a general feel and assessment of business reopening in the region.

The first points of call were the banks which have maintained strict compliance with the enforcement of the use of nose mask and the admission of a limited number of people into the banking hall at a time. As with several other banks, at the Guarantee Trust Bank branch at AYA junction in Asokoro, customers are required to obtain a ticket from the bank security with a number written on it. Customers are admitted into the banking hall in order of the number on their tickets.

One customer, Mary, expressed displeasure at the turn of events, citing the discomfort and the amount of time expended in carrying out hitherto simple transactions. “It used to be uncomfortable at first, but since it for our safety, we have no choice but to adhere to the protocol,” she stated.

READ: Nigeria’s COVID-19 curve is flattening at a rapid pace.

In the area of transportation, ride-hailing services which had until last year enjoyed immense patronage, are also just beginning to pick up. Emmanuel a driver for a ride-hailing service confirmed that business has picked up compared to the first phase of the lockdown easing. He, however, lamented the effect that rising inflation was having on his daily income from the executive cab business.

“Honestly, I am happy that businesses are picking up but we still need support. The rising prices of things are not reflected in the fare that our passengers are charged. We have to service the car, pay for fuel, and other needs. Although we are happy to be back, we feel things can be better,” he affirmed.

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Public transport, on the other hand, has long moved on from the days of enforcement of a limited number of passengers in vehicles and the compulsory masking up of all passengers. Neither the drivers nor the conductors of the buses boarded during this investigation were particular about social distancing or the use of masks. Many safety-conscious passengers were, however, observed to still use their masks while onboard.

Bus fares have largely remained the same as they were pre-covid. For instance, the fare for a trip from Karu Junction to Berger still ranges from N150-N200, depending on the time of the day.

Restaurants and food outlets including fast food grottos are also businesses that enjoyed immense patronage pre-covid but were forced to shut down or at best, streamline their services to strictly take-outs and online orders in the aftermath of the breakout of the pandemic. A trip to a KFC outlet at Area 11 in Garki, and a number of other food courts revealed that customers are not allowed entry without a mask. However, once inside, the mask could be set aside to place orders and eat meals.

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In Gwarinpa, at the Rooftop Puzzles Restaurant and Bar, customers are required to sanitise their hands and wear a mask before entry, but once inside, are allowed to sit anywhere and be attended to by staff kitted in nose masks.

READ: CAC sets 3-hour time line for company registration in 2021

To conclude, life has pretty much returned to normal in the FCT and residents are gradually putting aside the pains of the lockdown period as they go about their daily lives and business concerns in the typical resilient fashion that Nigerians have come to be known for.

On the Legislative side of things, the FCT Minister has recently concluded plans with the FEC to boost infrastructure development in the city, with Nairametrics recently reporting that the Federal Economic Council has approved the sum of N82 billion for the completion and rehabilitation of infrastructure projects in the Federal Capital Territory. The projects range from the Federal Secretariat to the expansion of the outer Southern Expressway amongst many others.

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