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DPR seals 15 filling stations, 2 gas plants in Osun

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) on Thursday sealed 15 filling stations and two gas plants for non compliance with global best practices.

Mr Ademola Makinde, DPR’s Operations Controller in Osogbo, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen after the department’s routine surveillance of filling and gas plants in the state.

Makinde said the exercise was part of the core mandate of DPR to ensure that the people were not shortchanged by petroleum marketers.

He said the exercise would also help check product hoarding and diversion while enforcing sale at the approved pump prices.

Makinde, who noted that 29 filling stations were visited during the exercise, said the sealed filling and gas stations were underdispensing and operating without a valid licence.

” Today,we visited 29 filling stations; while 15 were sealed for underdispensing and operating without a valid licence, seven were not in use.

” Additionally,two gas plants were sealed for offences varying from operating without a valid license to non-compliance with safety standards.

“And one good thing about DPR rules is that there are penalties if you flout them.

“If you are underdispensing to a marginal level, we may require you to go and reset your pump and we will inspect for possible reopening.

” But if there are critical infractions, penalties ranges from N100, 000 to N1 million, N1 million if by chance any marketer tampered with the DPR’s  official seal, ” he said.

Makinde, however, said the department and the petroleum marketers were not enemies but partners in progress.

” To the marketers, I have to emphasise this, we are not enemies but rather we are all partners working for the same goal.

“One of the mandate of DPR is to sustain marketers to grow their businesses, but that can only be done if they cooperate and do not cut corners and sidetrack DPR,” Makinde said.

He called on the people to always report any form of sharp practices by petroleum marketers to the department for appropirate action.

“If anybody reports any form of sharp practice to us, we will mobilise our officials to such filling station and we will take appropirate action,” he said.

Makinde gave the assurance that the ongoing exercise would be sustained to ensure all facilities were monitored in the interest of the general public.

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Plateau IDPs want assistance from FG, international community

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Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Plateau have appealed to the Federal Government and international Community render assistance to them just like their counterparts in the North-East.

Prince Barnabas Philip, IDPs’  Camp Coordinator, Barkin Ladi, made the call during a two day Meet the IDPs tour by the Management Committee Chairman of Barkin Ladi Local Government of a Plateau, Ezekiel Mondyau.

Nigeria News Agency reports that most of Camp coordinators, who spoke in the various camps visited, made the same request.

“Sir, could you believe that in this very camp, where we have over 2000 IDPs as a result of the attacks on Gashish District last year, since November last year no single government official or organisation visited us to assist us.

“We have teeming children and women, most of who are widows and orphans, yet nobody cares to come to around to feel what we are feeling till this your (Chairman’s) visit to us today.

“The visitor and assistance we got was a Christian Organization since November last year, yet each time we hear on Television and Radio, billions of Naira being pumped to our counterparts in the North-East.

Philip told the Chairman that what they wanted was for them to return to their respective communities if only Government, Corporate bodies and wealthy individuals and Philanthropists could assist them to “rebuild our destroyed houses and provide adequate security for us.”

NAN reports that the speech of Philip brought tears to many people on the Chairman’s entourage, including him (Mondyau).

Responding, Mondyau told the IDPs that it was out of Government’s concern that he embarked on the two day meet the IDPs tour and assured them of Government’ readiness to assist them to return to their respective communities.

Mondyau pledged to relate their plights and pleas to both the state and federal government for necessary assistance, but also assured them of his “widow’s might” at alleviating their plights.

He said part of Governor Simon Lalong plans, was ensure that all the IDPs in the 12 camps returned to their respective communities before the new year.

Edited By: Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

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FRSC explores better strategies to tackle road crashes

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The Zonal Commanding Officer, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna, Aliyu Dutsinma, on Thursday said only better road safety strategies would guarantee safer roads in the country.

Dutsinma stated this at a North-West adhoc stakeholders consultative meeting for production of implementation cost model and Monitoring and Evaluation framework for Nigeria Road Safety Strategy II, 2019 – 2023, held in Kaduna.

He explained that the stakeholders were expected to make inputs on the identified cost and budgeting gaps from the first version of Nigeria Road Safety Strategy, which run from 2014 to 2018.

He said that it was important to have a realistic budget to implement all activities outlined under the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy Phase II.

According to him, the Nigeria Road Safety Strategy document adopted Safe System approach to road safety management anchored on the five pillars listed in the United Nations Decade of Action For Road Safety.

Dutsinma said lack of synergy among relevant agencies are compounding road crashes, emphasising that the phenomenon needed to be addressed through concerted efforts.

According to him, the strategy document will stimulate road infrastructure development across states  and other strategic initiatives meant to  save lives of commuters and other road users.

The FRSC official appreciated Gov. Nasir El-Rufai for hosting the event and his support to the commission.

He urged the participants to come up with favorable outcomes for the successful implementation of the policy document in all states, to tackle the high rate of road crashes in the zone.

Edited By: Oluyinka Fadare/Maharazu Ahmed
(NAN)

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NAN celebrates Ojugbana, retiring board member

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The Governing Board, Management and staffers of the Nigeria News Agency , on Thursday celebrated Mr Charles Ojugbana, a retiring Director in the federal information ministry,  who represented the ministry on NAN’s governing board.

At the ceremony held in Abuja, Malam Wada Maida, the Chairman of NAN Governing Board, said that the outgoing member had contributed positively to the decisions of the board.

He said that the vacuum created by his retirement would be difficult to fill because of his wealth of experience and willingness, at all times, to contribute to the development of NAN.

Maida said that the board would continue to tap from the wealth of experience of the outgoing board member by reaching out to him when necessary.

In his remark, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, the Acting Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of NAN, said that the outgoing board member would be remembered for his wealth of experience and belief in due process.

He said that Ojugbana had contributed to the development of NAN through excellent suggestions and willingness to receive NAN management at difficult times.

“This ceremony is in recognition of his excellent service to the development of NAN,” Mammaga declared. .

In his remark, Ojugbana commended NAN board and management for packaging the event, adding that it was a “good and encouraging initiative”.

He described the board chairman as a “detribalised Nigerian always ready to accommodate every Nigerian irrespective of tribe, religion and ethnic background”.

Ojugbana pledged to continue to offer necessary support to the board and management of NAN, adding that his doors would remain open for the agency.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ephraims Sheyin (NAN)

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PLSG issues 238 Cs of O in Jos

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Mr Yakubu Datti, Commissioner of Lands, Survey and Town Planning, on Thursday issued 238 Certificates of Occupancy (Cs of O), and 815 Right of Occupancy (R of O), in Jos.

Dati, in a speech at the ceremony, said that government was committed to restoring confidence and guaranteeing access to land titles for the citizens.

He said that government had simplified land documentation technology via the Plateau State Geographic Information System (PLAGIS), to enable applicants get their documentation within 21 days.

“The ministry has keyed into the Plateau State Development Plan and has embarked on reorientation and human capital development.

“PLAGIS is gradually eradicating past sharp practices and unnecessary bottlenecks to ensure effective and efficient land documentation through the application of technology,” he said.

He advised members of the public and organisations to ensure they were up to date with their titled documents as the ministry would soon apprehend and prosecute defaulters.

Dati said that titled documents would enable owners to access loan and fast track the ease of doing business within the state.

He urged land owners within the state to make use of the opportunity to get their document as Gov. Simon Lalong was committed to providing layouts for agriculture, tourism, mining and industries.

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Environment

Lafia residents will enjoy steady power supply by first quarter of  2020 – NDPHC

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Residents of Lafia, Nasarawa state capital and its environs will soon enjoy adequate and steady power supply as the construction of the 330/132 KVA transmission substation in the city nears completion.

Mr Umar Moddibo, Manager of the project disclosed this on Thursday at an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) workshop with members of the Akurba host community and other stakeholders.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the project is being executed by the Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC).

Moddibo noted that the project had reached 95 per cent and upon completion, would provide at least 23 hours adequate electricity supply to Lafia and environs.

“According to our work schedule, all major works at the substation will be completed by Dec. 23.

“What will be left is the powering (Turn in – turn out) of the substation from the nearest transmission line.

“Our target is that by the end of the first quarter of 2020, the issue of insufficient power supply in Lafia and environs will be over,” Moddibo said.

He explained that the substation have the capacity of 420 MVA and one of the best amongst the 72 substations so far built by the NDPHC in the country.

Moddibo said that the project would enhance rapid socio-economic development in the state through the reduction of cost of production of goods and services.

“This will encourage the establishment of factories and small scale business, improve standard of living as well as increase the revenue base of the state,” Moddibo said.

He said that the company would build block of classrooms for the community as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Mr Eze Odigbo, General Manager, Environment and Community Relations of NDPHC said that the essence of the EIA was to ensure the environmental sustainability of the project.

Odigbo, represented by Mr Olajide Olubunmi, the deputy general manager said the scoping workshop was part of the EIA process where the host community and other stakeholders interface with the company to collectively assess the impact of the project.

He noted that the ultimate aim was to ensure the mitigation or elimination of negative impact arising from the project.

In his remark, Alhaji Aliyu Ahmadu, District head of Akurba community, who spoke through the youth leader, Idris Mohammed commended the Federal Government for siting the project in their community.

According to him, the project aimed at industrialising the state is a clear demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s determination to develop the country.

He, however, appealed to the company to employ some of the youth who were engaged in the construction of the substation as permanent staff.

Edited by Modupe Adeloye/Ismail Abdulaziz (NAN)

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Traffic Violations: Report erring lawyers to NBA, Falana tells FRSC

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Human Rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday  urged the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to report any lawyer who committed traffic offence to disciplinary committee of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in their jurisdictions.

Falana said this at the sideline of the FRSC 4th Quarter 2019 Retreat themed, ‘FRSC Operations in Public Perspective’ at Magodo, Lagos.

“There is no lawyer who has immunity on the road; if any lawyer misbehave on highways, report him to disciplinary committee of NBA in that zone for necessary action.

“Whoever goes outside the provisions of the law can easily be dealt with, nobody can challenge you for that,” Falana said.

According to him, a former Governor of Lagos State once arrested a Nigerian Army colonel who violated traffic rule.

“The arrest of the serving colonel by a former governor of Lagos State sent a signal to everybody that nobody is above the law.

“There were so many vehicles now with lawyer’s logo because they believe that they are above the law,” he said.

Falana said that only about 74 people have immunity in the entire country, the President, vice president 36 governors and their deputies.

“Anybody outside the list can be brought to book, the person can be challenged for breaching the law.

“For lawyers, if any lawyer misbehaves on the highway, if you don’t want to charge him, report him in writing to the disciplinary committee of the bar association.

“In Lagos, we have five branches of NBA Ikeja, Lagos, Epe, Badagry, and Ikorodu. Please, if any lawyer misbehaves on the road report him, no lawyer want to be charged and convicted for any offence whatsoever,” Falana said.

The human rights lawyer also advised the corps to always keep the records of convictions of any erring motorists charged to court nationwide.

“So that when they want to contest for elections, you will know that they have been convicted somewhere, that will be used against such offender, then everybody will be cautious,” he said.

According to him, “when the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, once said that anybody caught driving against the traffic must be taken to psychiatric hospital, many people were cautious in driving.

“If they have that in their record, that such person was once treated for insanity, nobody would employ them anywhere, then everybody would sit up, that is also one of the criteria for disqualification for elective positions.

“We must go back to the rule now, of course, the enforcement is relaxed, but we must go back to maintain sanity on the road,” he said.

Edited by Debo Oshundun/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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