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TRAFFIC: LAGOS BEGINS COMMERCIAL WATER TRANSPORTATION, AS SANWO-OLU LAUNCHES NEW SPEED BOATS

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Lagos State Government has formally kicked off commercial waterways transportation, with the official launch of eight newly acquired speed boats by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday.

Sanwo-Olu unveiled the speed boats, which will be operated by the Lagos Ferry Services (LAGFERRY), at a ceremony held at Badore Ferry Terminal in Eti-Osa Local Government Area.

The event marked the commencement of commercial operations in waterways transportation by LAGFERRY. The Governor also launched a mobile application designed to facilitate easy access to the water transportation services.

Sanwo-Olu said the intervention represented a “great leap” in his administration’s strategy to deliver an effective and integrated inter-modal transportation system in addressing the perennial issue of traffic congestion on the roads.

He said: “The narrative of transportation in Lagos is about to change for good, as we are set to take full advantage of the water bodies to decongest our roads and substantially reduce travel time for commuters.

“Today, we are launching eight units of additional ferries to complement the existing six ferries in the fleet of Lagos Ferry Service. It is glaring that for Lagos to be a functional smart city that we desire, there must be diversification of the mode of transportation. There must be interconnectivity of the rail, road and water transportation systems.”

The design and fabrication of the new boats were totally worked out by two local boats manufacturers in line with Sanwo-Olu’s promise to exploring local capacity in providing solutions to various challenges.

The Governor observed that the commencement of commercial operations on waterways would promote a healthy living and restore aesthetics of environment through reduction of carbon emission.

He charged private investors to move in and harness opportunities in the value chain, noting that the Government had solved the teething problems associated with the mode of transportation and infrastructure.

“We are fully committed to increase investment in the development of more routes on the waterways. To consolidate on infrastructure we have provided on the waterways, we will embark on the construction of more jetties and provision of more modern ferry boats to create opportunities for more private sector participation in water transportation,” Sanwo-Olu said.

The Governor said the State would drive full compliance on measures put in place to ensure the safety of commuters using the waterways, adding that the Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) was being strengthened to effectively discharge its monitoring and regulatory duties in line with best practice.

He said: “We are going to spread the efficiency of the LAGFERRY services to meet the demand of the people at various times of the day. Before the end of the year, we will double the capacity in the LAGFERRY’s fleet from 14 to 30 boats. This is to enable the agency discharge its mandate to ease the movement of Lagosians from various parts of the city to another through the waterways.”

Sanwo-Olu promised that modern jetties would also be built in Badagry, Lekki, and Ajegunle, pledging that the one being built in Ijegun would be completed.

Chief Executive Officer of LAGFERRY, Hon. Abdulbaq Balogun said the launching charted a new course for water transportation in the State.

The agency, Balogun said, remained fully committed to exploring the capacity of waterways to strengthen mass transportation in line with transportation blueprint of the Sanwo-Olu administration.

With over 30 jetties across the State, the LAGFERRY boss said Lagos had provided infrastructure to boost water transportation, adding that the commencement of commercial operations by the agency would reduce persistent gridlock on the highways.

He said: “With our global water transportation licence, LAGFERRY will operate on all the waterways routes in Lagos, starting gradually according to the available capacity. We will be deploying all our 14 available ferries to cover the three senatorial zones immediately.

“Our well developed and properly coordinated water transportation is also helping in haulage across the State, moving trucks, containers and goods, thereby relieving the roads of heavy duty trucks which contribute in no small measure to failure of roads.”

Before the fourth quarter of the year, Balogun said LAGFERRY would extend its services to all 40 water routes licenced for Lagos.

Also, Commissioner for Transport, Dr. Frederic Oladehinde, described the event as another giant stride in Transport Sector Reform embarked on by the Sanwo-Olu administration, saying the standard of the boats would meet the transportation need of residents in an emerging Smart City.

Oladehinde announced the six routes of LAGFERRY’s operations, which include Ikorodu to Falomo; Ikorodu to Ebute Ero and Marina; Ebute Ojo to Ijegun Egba, Apapa and Marina; Bayeku to Oke Ira Nla and Falomo; Mile 2 to Marina, and Badore to Ijede.

Three of the boats deployed for operations by LAGFERRY have the capacity to carry 60 passengers, two were built to carry 50 passengers, while another two had capacities of 40 passengers. Also, three of the boats will carry 30 passengers, four will carry 25 passengers and two will carry 25 passengers.

All the boats are built with comfortable seats, in-built Wi-Fi and modern technological devices that will aid smooth operations and safety.

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BREAKINGNEWS: LAGOS APC LAWMAKER, TUNDE BRAIMOH, IS DEAD

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ACCORDING TO A CLOSE MEMBER OF THE FAMILY , BRAIMOH DIED EARLY HOURS OF FRIDAY.

HE WAS TWO TIMES CHAIRMAN OF KOSOFE LGC AND CURRENTLY SERVING HIS SECOND TIME IN THE LAGOS HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

UNTIL HIS DEMISE, BRAIMOH, WHO IS A LAWYER, HEADED COMMITTEE ON INFORMATION, SECURITY AND STRATEGY IN THE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY.

IT WOULD BE RECALLED THAT, THE FORMER SENATOR, BAYO OSINOWO, WHO DIED RECENTLY WAS ALSO FROM KOSOFE LGA.

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NDDC N40b Probe: No Kobo Is Missing, Misapplied by the IMC…..Ojougboh

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THE Acting Executive Director, Projects, Interim Management Committee, IMC of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh has said that no single Kobo has been misapplied by the Committee since it came on board.

Speaking in Abuja Thursday when he appeared before the Senator Olubunmi Adetunmbi ( APC, Ekiti North) led Ad-hoc Committee probing  into alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the IMC, Ojougboh said that since the interim management came on board, it has not awarded any contract, except the recent one of the Coronavirus, COVID-19  Pandemic where Palliatives were given to people.

Ojougboh  who is presently addressing the Committee has accused both the Chairman, Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi and his House of Representatives counterpart as the problem of the interventionist agency.

According to him, if they remain as chairmen of the Committees, Niger Delta region will never develop.

Meanwhile, the Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has told the Ad- hoc Committee that a total of N281 billion has so far been released to the NDDC from 2016 to May this year.

Giving a breakdown, he said that in 2016, N41billion was released; in 2017, N64 billion was released; in 2018, a total of N71 billion was released; in 2019, N71 billion was released and from January to May this year, N34 billion was released.

Recall that the Senate is probing alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Against this backdrop, the Senate had set up six-man Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40billion by the commission.

The Committee, which had four weeks to report back at plenary, was asked to look into all procurement and financial transactions of the commission in this fiscal year (2020) and any other matter that is not in accordance with the provision of the NDDC Establishment Act, 2000 or any other extant law.

In a related development, the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio has assured the National Assembly of his utmost cooperation in the ongoing probe of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Recall once again that the Senate is probing alleged financial recklessness to the tune of N40 billion by the Interim Management Committee, IMC, of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

Against this backdrop, the Senate had set up a six-man Ad-hoc Committee to carry out a holistic investigation into all issues relating to but not limited to the alleged misapplication and misappropriation of the sum of N40billion by the commission.

Appearing before the Senate ad-hoc Committee on Thursday,  the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Olusade Adesola who stood in for the Minister  regretted the absence of the Minister due to circumstances beyond his control.

Mr Adesola assured the Committee that the Minister held the Panel in high repute and would appear on any other date that the Committee would extend an invitation to him.

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22 YEARS AFTER: WE JUST CANNOT FORGET MKO

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July 7 marks the 22nd anniversary of the murder of Chief MKO Abiola, the man popularly elected by Nigerians as president on June 12, 1993.
Abiola was eliminated after spending over four years in incarceration just because of his blunt refusal to compromise his principled belief that a mandate freely and enthusiastically given by over 14 million Nigerians cannot be overturned by military fiat.
Abiola displayed uncommon courage, unparalled dignity, and unusual candour in his staunch defence of the mandate given him by change-seeking Nigerians who, after trooping out to massively vote for him in 1993, had also engaged all the illegal regimes that held sway while the legal president languished in jail.
Twenty-two years after his elimination, Abiola still stands taller than all his adversaries and murderers.
He represents what Nigeria is capable of being but which we were denied because of the machinations of a greedy cabal fearful of the real CHANGE that Abiola not only promised but also typified.
All the troubles of Nigeria, which Abiola’s victory was meant to abolish, are the very shenanigans threatening the corporate existence of this country today.
A country that gleefully elected a Muslim/Muslim ticket, would not hear of such today as it has become badly fractured along regional and religious divides.
Today, we remember MKO in the midst of insurgency ruins, Chibok and Dapchi abductions among many others too numerous to mention, with people daily burying their dead in the innumerable harvests of death.
Abiola’s memory challenges us to end these and many other acts of terror that not only dehumanize us but also depreciate our human capital stock in the comity of nations.
We therefore enjoin Nigerians to continue to insist on the following demands from their rulers:
i. The posthumous recognition of Abiola as President of Nigeria and for his portrait to be displayed amongst those of past Nigerian presidents and heads of State.
ii. A judicial commission of enquiry to unravel how the high treason of the murder of MKO Abiola was carried out while he was in the custody of the Nigerian State.
iii. Restructuring of Nigeria, which has become the only exercise that can stall and reverse the fragmentation of the country.
We therefore also call on Nigerians, irrespective of creed, race, religious inclination or affiliation, to re-dedicate themselves to the ideals of the struggle for genuine democracy birthed by credible elections.
Entrenching the true spirit of June 12, which is free and fair elections, is the best way to immortalize MKO.
 In conclusion, we salute the memory of MKO Abiola, whose election was clean, free and fair and was so adjudged by local and international observers.
As we salute the memory of MKO Abiola, we call for an end to political manipulations that have hallmarked most elections before and after that of June 12, 1993.
In the same way, we call for the restoration of MKO’s political agenda to emancipate the downtrodden and long-suffering Nigerian masses as the true objective of real democracy and true measure of national Independence.

 

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