The NNPC says cases of oil pipeline vandalism in the country rose by 77% in the month of June 2019. In its Monthly Financial and Operation Report for the month released on Sunday, the NNPC said that 106 pipeline points were breached, representing an increase from the 60 points vandalised in May 2019. The breakdown of the report showed that the Aba-Enugu axis in the system 2E pipeline corridor accounted for 25% of the total pulverised points, while the Lagos Atlas Cove-Mosimi axis of the system 2B had 23% of the compromised pipeline points. The NNPC noted that the Ibadan-Ilorin leg of the System 2B pipeline accounted for 18% of affected lines, followed by the PHC-Aba section of the system 2E, which was responsible for 13% of the affected pipelines. Other areas accounted for the remaining 21% of cumulative line breaks.
Residents of Magodo, a suburb of Lagos have entered a premium power deal with Ikeja Electric, giving them steady power supply. The estate, which has not experienced any power outage for nearly two weeks after the agreement came into effect, has applauded Ikeja Electric for the provision of uninterrupted supply. The Premium Power initiative is a power purchase agreement under the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller initiative issued by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The deal entails a commitment to specific service level standards while the customer agrees to pay a tariff that is above the current MYTO tariff. Since the implementation of the agreement on 15 August 2019, residents of the Estate have been on 24-hour supply and under the agreement; there will also be access to dedicated Customer Care and Technical teams for prompt resolution of queries or technical issues within the Estate. At the contract signing ceremony, two weeks ago, the COO of Ikeja Electric, Folake Soetan, expressed confidence in the success of the trend-setting agreement which she noted was in line with the FG’s “willing seller, willing buyer” policy.
Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has attributed the challenge of funding for the slow pace of work at the ongoing construction of Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway. He said this was as a result of the dissolution of the previous cabinet which meant there was no minister to approve the payment of funds to the contractor. Amaechi added that the issue would be resolved soonest to continue with the construction. The 157km Lagos-Ibadan rail project was awarded in 2017 to the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Company to the tune of $1.6 billion with a three years completion agreement. The target, he said was to facilitate the ongoing construction and get into the seaport so as to reduce the gridlock in Apapa by evacuating goods from the Lagos port by train. Amaechi said they are waiting for the China NEXIM bank to approve the loan to commence construction.
Andrienne Barnes, a Literacy and Pedagogy specialist from Florida State University, in the US has claimed that 72% of children at early grade primary school level in northern Nigeria public schools cannot read a single word while only 1.2% of them are able to read and answer comprehension questions. Barnes, a part of a USAID supported survey on early grade reading in some states in the Northern part of the country said this at NCRRD’s National conference on children’s books and the teaching of early grade reading in Nigeria. The challenge, according to Barnes, is as a result of the shortfall in reading proficiency among the early grade pupils in the country to paucity of high-quality teaching and learning materials with well trained and motivated teachers in public schools. However, Barnes noted the ongoing positive education reforms across Nigeria, but the change is too slow and “typically entails two steps forward and one, sometimes two steps backwards. The expert urged stakeholders to have a deliberate and objective evaluation of the system and transformation focused on long-term educational outcomes which would surely lead to the revival of the reading culture and improvement on early grade reading among its teeming population.