Panic-buying of petrol is showing no sign of ending in Britain, with retailers warning that filling stations in many parts of the country continued to run dry.
Long queues were again reported outside stations that were open on Tuesday after the government announced it was putting the Army on standby in an effort to ensure supplies were maintained.
Oil companies have said they expected the pressure on forecourts to ease in the coming days, with many cars carrying more fuel than usual.
However, the chairperson of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA), Brian Madderson, said that there was little sign of that happening with social media driving the dash to the pumps.
“Disappointingly, the messages I’m getting this morning from our retailers are that panic-buying does continue,” he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.
“One of the reasons for this is social media. As soon as the tanker arrives at a filling station, people on social media are advising that a tanker has arrived and it is like bees to a honeypot.
“Everyone flocks there and within a few hours it is out again.’’
Ministers had announced late on Monday that soldiers were being put on standby to deliver fuel, amid concerns that a shortage of tanker drivers was threatening the ability of the oil companies to maintain supplies.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson originally drew back from activating Operation Escalin first drawn up to deal with the aftermath of Brexit for troops to fill in and drive tankers.
The government had been hoping that the queues would ease as people returned to more normal buying patterns.
However, Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng, who issued the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities request, said putting troops on readiness to assist was a “sensible, precautionary step’’.
“If required, the deployment of military personnel will provide the supply chain with additional capacity as a temporary measure to help ease pressures caused by spikes in localised demand for fuel,’’ he said.
It was reported that, initially, 75 drivers would be given additional training to enable them to drive tankers, with a further 75 available if required.
The ministers have repeatedly urged the public not to panic buy, insisting the country has “ample” supplies of fuel.
However, the calls appeared to fall on deaf ears, with the PRA reporting that many motorists, when they were able to find a filling station that was open, were taking on far more fuel than usual.
“It is panic-buying when you go to fill up your car to the entirety of its tank capacity which you will not normally do. You will fill up,’’ Madderson said.
“The average fill across the UK is about 25 pounds (34.25 dollars) worth. We have seen people filling up to 100 pounds’ worth when they can.’’
Meanwhile, the government continued to face calls to give priority access to fuel supplies to health care staff and other essential workers.
David Wrigley, deputy chairperson of the British Medical Association, warned essential services could be hit if staff were unable to get to work because they could not fill up.
“I know many of my health and social care working colleagues will be getting into the car this morning, nervously looking at the fuel dial and wondering if they’ve got enough fuel to do their day-to-day work,’’ he told Times Radio.
“We can’t be waiting two or three hours in a queue for fuel when we have patients to see.
“Its a critical situation where we’re unsure we’ll have the fuel to do NHS and social care work, so a plan does need to be in place.’’
The NASUWT teaching union said priority access should also be given to teachers if children were not to face further disruption to their education.
General secretary Patrick Roach said: “for many teachers, the use of public transport is simply not an option, with many schools in areas that are not easily accessible other than by using private vehicles.
“Without such intervention, many teachers will struggle to get to their places of work on time, adding to the daily uncertainty and disruption faced by children and young people.’’
NSCDC Deploys 20,000 Personnel For Anambra Election
Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 20,000 personnel to provide security for the November. 6 governorship election in Anambra.
Those to be deployed include personnel in the NSCDC Arms Squad Unit, Counter-Terrorism Unit and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Explosives Unit.
NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr Ahmed Audi, said this on Thursday in Abuja while delivering a keynote address at a three-day Train-the-Trainers Capacity Building and Electoral Workshop, ahead of the Anambra poll.
Audi said that the special forces would be drafted to key areas in the state where they would be saddled with the responsibility of protecting lives and property.
“They will also see to the protection of sensitive and non-sensitive election materials, INEC officials and all critical assets against vandalism, damage or arsonist attacks,” he said.
He said that NSCDC, in collaboration with other security agencies, had developed strategies to checkmate any act of electoral violence and other nefarious activities capable of undermining the electoral process.
The commandant-general further said that the deployed personnel would ensure effective monitoring before, during and after the election.
Audi also said that the personnel would be drafted from the NSCDC commands in all the states in the South-South and South-East zones.
“In addition, personnel from Kogi, Ekiti, Ondo, and Benue have been placed on standby, in case there is the need for reinforcement,” he said.
The NSCDC boss warned the officers to strictly adhere to the ethics of the corps and comply with the law in the discharge of their duties.
“Let me warn, and I mean it, that any conduct of an officer of NSCDC that undermines the rule of law will be seriously dealt with, in accordance with the public service rule,” he added.
Stakeholders Call On NERC, EEDC To Scale Up Performance In S’East
Stakeholders in the electricity industry in the South-East have charged the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and Enugu Electricity Distribution Company (EEDC) to scale up their performances.
The people gave the charge on Thursday in Enugu at a NERC Stakeholders’ Engagement on Consultation on the Review of Customer Protection Regulations.
They described the periodic review of the regulations after five years as worthwhile.
They, however, said the practical implementation of the regulations, especially concerning the treatment of customers’ complaints, was of greater importance than the proposed review.
An electricity consumer, Mr Joshua Itumo, said the period between the supply of bills and disconnection of defaulting customers “must be reviewed to meet present realities and hardship customers face to get the money to pay their bills.
“The review also has to include that those enforcing disconnection must do it with human face and listen when superior argument or evidence of payment is presented,” Itumo said.A landlord in Trans Ekulu, Enugu, Mr Ifeanyichukwu Okorie, urged NERC and EEDC to clearly state the amount, which when accumulated by a tenant, must be paid before he or she parks out.
Okorie said: “It is not palatable that someone will park into a new apartment and inherit over N500,000 as electricity liability.
“Where does he start as a new tenant to off-set such a huge bill?”
Mr David Emeson, who lives at Agui Road, Enugu, said it was better to ensure the existing regulations were implemented to the latter than have a review that could not be implemented.
“We are not lacking good regulations. The problem is that NERC and EEDC most times fail to carry out what the regulations say and leave customers to their fate,’’ Emeson said.
Earlier, Prof. Frank Okafor, the Commissioner in charge of Engineering and Performance Monitoring in NERC, said the review had become necessary after five years in order to accommodate new ways of doing things, technology and other innovations.
Okafor said the review was not to witch-hunt any stakeholder but ensure more efficient and robust regulations to the benefit of electricity consumers.
“We are looking for ways to ensure more proactive and fast-result oriented ways of attending to customers’ complaints and using technological devices to do this, since NERC cannot be everywhere,” he said.
He said it was difficult for NERC to be proactive due to limited manpower, pointing out that the commission had only 150 staff members nationwide.
Responding, the Managing Director of EEDC, Mr Chorghade Praveen, assured the customers that the company was eager to resolve their complaints in good time, “just as we have recorded noticeable improvement in power supply across our network”.
Praveen also said the company was designing some technological innovations for complaints to be reported and solved within few hours of the report, where possible.
“We are working to improve our customers’ experience just as we have improved in the rate and quality of power supply throughout our franchise area.
“EEDC is moving from customers’ satisfaction to customers’ affection in order to allow our esteemed customers the best quality of service and care so far.
“All the complaints raised here and others to come, I assure you will be treated with dispatch,” he said.
Exploit Technology To Promote National Security, NSA Tasks Military, Others
The National Security Adviser (NSA), retired Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno, has urged the armed forces of Nigeria and other security agencies to exploit more of cyber technology in their quest to safeguard national security.
Monguno, made the call at the Defence Space Administration (DSA) Cyber Security Awareness Day 2021 with the theme, “Developing Cyber Capabilities for the Enhancement of Armed Forces of Nigeria Operations and National Security” on Thursday, in Abuja.
The NSA was represented by the Director, Policy and Strategy, Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA), Amb. Aminu Lawal.
He said that Nigeria, like several other countries across the globe was currently witnessing a surge in digital transformation with many new activities migrating to the Internet especially with the advent of the coronavirus pandemic.
NSA stated that Nigeria’s cyberspace had become a centre stage for new business innovations, governance and social interactions.
He said that the trend had created an opportunity for government to redefine its national objectives and address some of the major developmental challenges currently facing the country, including the emergence of new forms of criminality and terrorism perpetrated through the cyberspace.
According to him, the transformation is a vital priority for the armed forces and security agencies because of the enormous benefits they stand to derive from the cyberspace.
“It is pertinent to note that digital transformation in the armed forces is no longer about innovation but is considered as culture because of the exponential rates of accepting technology and its dynamism.
“The use of the cyberspace is increasingly impacting almost every aspect of our lives as a country and armed forces of the world exploit its benefits to transform their economies and operations.
“Also, the cyberspace is fast evolving, creating technologies, dismantling barriers to commerce, security and allowing seamless communication across borders for people to collaborate and share information,” he said.
Monguno said that cyberspace had been regarded as the fifth domain and newest theatre of warfare after land, sea, air and space, adding that conflicts in cyberwar were rarely military-on-military because of its borderless nature.
He, however, said there was need for the military through DSA in collaboration with ONSA to consolidate and redouble efforts for a more resilient infrastructure, enhanced capacity against cyberattacks and sustainable service delivery.
He commended DSA for organising the event to discuss ways to create opportunities from the nation’s cyber space for economic and operational planning.
Earlier, the Chief of Defence Space Administration (CDSA), Rear Adm. William Kayoda, said that DSA had entrenched the value of space to support the operations of the armed forces, especially on how space systems infrastructure would apply to national critical functions.
Kayoda said the Administration had continued to provide resilient cyber security solutions in the protection of Nigeria’s cyber space.
He said such were, especially, in the regulation, monitoring, vulnerabilities penetration assessment, testing and mitigation exercise to safeguard military and other security agencies’ websites and servers.
He added that DSA also followed the trends and ensure cybersecurity maturity model certification were sustained in the understanding of latest requirements.
According to him, the global re-occurring supply chain attacks that are very destructive, especially malware and ransomwares attacks, call for adherence to developing and sustaining basic cyber security hygiene.
“Thus, the issue of Multi-Factor Authentication (MFAs), passwords, decryption and other key management real world physical access control mitigation for supply chain security are very essential.
“In the Nigeria security perimeters, Multi-Factor Authentication, system control, hygiene culture, training, enforcement, segmentation, control of routine networks, physical access at all times, collaborations, end source investigation amongst others in line with global best practices must be our priority.
“This is very relevant as trust model for all devices has revealed the need for zero trust for machines due to vulnerabilities.
“Adherence to procedures, monitoring, reporting and policy compliance and enforcement devoid of complacency by cyber analyst, Network administration and other end users is important,” he said.
The CDSA disclosed that the cybersecurity awareness month was organised to increase sensitisation efforts on models to mitigate cyber threats and build national cyber resilience to shape cyber security standard, particularly information sharing and identifying critical solutions for implementation at all government levels.
In his goodwill message, the Ministry of Defence, retired Maj -Gen. Bashir Magashi, commended DSA on its unrelenting efforts towards creating a robust indigenous space competence capable of producing and utilising space assets to meet the operational requirements of the Nigerian armed forces.
Magashi said the awareness week was a critical step in addressing increasing cyberattacks on businesses and even the military.
He said that creating awareness of this menace was imperative especially with the drive for global connectivity, usage, recent launch of the e-naira by Mr. President and prevalence of more sophisticated cyber security attacks.
“No doubt, this exercise if sustained will go a long way in curbing new cyber threats and promote the proper use of the social media.
“On this note, I urge the participants to take full advantage of this Workshop and wish the DSA well in the pursuit of its mandate,” he said.
Business2 years ago
PRESIDENT BUHARI’S GODSON, NASIRU HALADU DANU’S WINNING STREAK
Business2 years ago
Alleged Manipulation of Tax : Italian Construction company, Borini Prono, Battles Nigerian Police
Society2 years ago
Gumsu Abacha’s Pretentious Lifestyle after Marriage Crash
Society2 years ago
When Mohammed Babangida Stepped out With Umma
Business2 years ago
Visionscape Boss, Niyi Makanjuola’s Myriad of Troubles
Society2 years ago
CITY BUSINESSMAN, GERALD ANOZOBO’S NEW LIFESTYLE
Society2 years ago
Lulu-Briggs: Family Exposes Wife, Seinye’s Dirty Ways.. Ola KING
Society2 years ago
Lulu-Briggs’ Death Controversy: Dumo Laughs Last