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Naira Scarcity: Students Pay For Transport With Foodstuff In Lagos

Fresh reports show that the controversial cashless regime of the Federal Government has continued to take a toll on citizens across the country, including students.

The redesign policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and insistence on the use of only new naira notes have starved millions of funds since January.

Last week, the Supreme Court nullified the enforcement of new notes, extending the validity of the old N200, N500, and N1,000 till December 31.

The apex court declared that President Muhammadu Buhari’s action was not only not permitted under democracy, it breached the Constitution and the rights of the citizens.

Though the CBN was directed to release the new notes immediately, they are yet to circulate as expected. Only a few banks and Automated Teller Machines, ATMs, have adequate cash.

In Lagos, some students say they have been paying for transport and other services with foodstuffs they took from home.

On Tuesday, two students of the Government Technical College in Odomola, Epe, narrated their experience to DAILY POST.

Ridwan, who studies Plumbing and Pipefitting, said he had to pay for his fare with rice while returning to school on Monday.

The teenager recalled how the drivers of the buses he entered initially got furious when he could not provide cash but eased after he offered food.

“As I was leaving in the morning, I could not get cash from the ATM or PoS, so I used the only cash with me to get to Chevron bus stop.

“It was rice that helped me get to school. The price from Chevron to Ajah is N300 but I gave the bus driver one derica of rice.

“Ajah to Epe is N1,000…I paid with another one derica. When I got to Epe, I explained to the okada man that I didn’t have cash but had food.

“He took me to my area near Landlord Association road and I gave him one derica instead of paying N300. That’s how my three derica finished,” he lamented.

Tunde, who studies Garment Making, revealed he used a loaf of bread in exchange for transport on Sunday, saying other colleagues do the same in recent times.

“No cash and we cannot withdraw for some weeks now. The foodstuff we take from home is small but we don’t have a choice other than use it to find our way.

“If you’re not ready to drop something, no car, bus, okada, or even keke will carry you except the ones that decide to assist because we are students,” he said.

Meanwhile, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, has asked President Buhari to disclose how his government is obeying the court order.

Reacting to the judgement, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, said the Supreme Court displayed courage and rescued Nigerians from “the pangs of death, frustration and looming economic recession.”

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A brilliant 24-year-old Nigerian student converts sachet water waste into kerosene and diesel.

Zaynab Bilyamin, a 24-year-old student at Federal University Dutse, has converted sachet water waste into kerosene and diesel.

Ms Bilyamin who is a student of the Department of Chemistry worked on the conversion as her undergraduate final year project.

Her project topic is: “Conversion of Low-Density Polyethylene and Mixed Low-Density Polyethylene with Polyethylene Terephthalate into Fuel.”

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Ms Bilyamin stated that she was inspired to conduct the research after reading about the possibility of converting polymeric waste into fuel because in Nigeria, polymeric waste piles up on the street without recycling, posing an environmental risk, whereas this waste can be converted to wealth.

The young scientist appreciated the support from her parents and the project supervisor, Aminu Dauda, for their help in the course of carrying out the project work.

Speaking on the challenges encountered, she said, “I carried out the experiment in the lab, although it was okay. But during the experiment, an obnoxious odour which is not very pleasant to the nose was emitted. Had it been that there was a facility a little bit away from residential areas, it would have been so much better.”

She mentioned further how she had to take her product to Bayero University Kano (BUK) in Kano State for analysis as there was no equipment for such in her school.

“Had it been available in my school, then I would have carried out the physicochemical analysis myself in my school,” she said.

In the course of the research, Mr Dauda said they had to design and fabricate a machine (reactor) at the Kano Technology Incubation Centre which was used for the pyrolysis — the method used to convert the polymeric waste into fuel..

Ms Bilyamin, who hails from Jigawa State, said she would pursue a career in academia as she want to carry the research further in her Masters and PhD program.

She added that the research gulped more than N100,000 (about $150).

Ms Bilyamin and her supervisor therefore called on the government to invest in this area of research as it will ease the blockage caused by polymeric waste and at the same time serve as a source of revenue to the government and also means of reducing youth restiveness.