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No more road closure at Yaba level crossing — LASTMA

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The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has said that the planned road closure at Yaba level crossing had been postponed.

The LASTMA’s spokesman, Mr Olumide Filade made this known in a Public Notice made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Wednesday night.

The authority in travel advisory had earlier on Wednesday announced the road closure at the railway level crossing in Yaba following the ongoing construction of LagosIbadan standard gauge rail line.

According to the travel advisory earlier made available, the level crossing will be closed from 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday to 1: 00 a.m on Thursday.

LASTMA, however, in a contrary statement, said that the China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) just intimated the state government that the planned work at the level crossing had been postponed.

“The construction company working on the IbadanLagos standard gauge line rail project has just notified the state government that the planned works at the Yaba rail crossing has been put on hold for reasons beyond their control.

“The company has therefore tendered an unreserved apology for all inconvenience that the earlier announced closure must have caused road users within the axis.

“CCECC hereby affirms that the rail works postponement was unavoidable and promise that adequate notice would be made available in future in order for Lagos road users to plan their journey,” the statement said.

The authority had earlier advised motorists to use alternative routes and promised that its personnel would be on ground to manage the traffic. (NAN).


AYO/WOJ

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

Metro

Banditry/Kidnappings: Buhari urges security agencies, communities to be more vigilant

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President Muhammadu Buhari has called on security agencies and communities under threats of banditry and kidnappings to be more vigilant, in the light of the latest incidents in Enugu, Zamfara, Adamawa, Katsina and Kaduna states.

A statement by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Thursday, stated that Buhari was reacting to the recent reports of heightened acts of violence and kidnappings after a period of relative calm.

The president observed that “in view of the unpredictability of the security situation, our security forces and the communities affected should be ever more alert, because these murderous and remorseless criminals will take advantage of your complacency and strike again.”

According to him, the bandits should, under no circumstance, be allowed to hold the country into ransom on account of security loopholes, which they seek to exploit to attack their victims.

”The criminals always look for loopholes in our security system in order to remain in business and active, but we shouldn’t give them the space to achieve this diabolical objective by pre-empting them,” he said.

Buhari added that “complacency is a hidden or unnoticed enemy that we shouldn’t take for granted, because doing so could weaken our strategies.”

He, however, noted that the affected communities also have the responsibility to help the security agencies with the critically important human intelligence, in order to stop the bandits.

He said: ”The bandits maintain networks of informants among the communities they attack.

” reporting these informants to the authorities, it will be by far easier to foil the bandits before they reach their intended targets.”

While commending the security agencies for their dedication and sacrifices, the president directed them to redouble their efforts and make life uncomfortable for the bandits.

“You should spare no effort in breaking the backbone of these savage mass killers, and don’t hesitate to attack them with merciless intensity until they are crushed and ultimately defeated”, he said.

Edited by ‘Wale Sadeeq

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Metro

FCTA expresses concern over indiscriminate dumping of construction waste in city centre

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Waste

-Idris

Abuja, Nov. 21, 2019 The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Thursday in Abuja expressed concern over indiscriminate dumping of the construction wastes within the Capital City centre.

The Director, Department of Monitoring and Inspection of FCTA, Town Planner, Olawale Labiyi made this known during a news conference on the activities of the department from January and November  2019.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the department was established in April 2012, to ensure improved effectiveness and efficiency in service and project delivery by the FCT Secretariat, Department and Agencies (SDAs).

Labiyi said the department in the course of discharging its functions observed that construction company often dumped wastes in the wrong places within the city center.

He said that the department identified problems and nuisance in public Educational and Health Institutions, Market and Housing Estate to the relevant SDAs for amelioration.

” Among the issues monitored in the city were evacuation of domestic waste, vegetation and construction wastes, general cleanliness of the environment, social nuisance and areas prone to security risks and informal sector.

He, therefore, called on the Department of Development Control and the Abuja Environmental Protection Board to be proactive in ensuring that construction companies did not dump waste indiscriminately.

He also expressed concern over poor sanitation and increasing rate of open defection, bad road and blocked drainages in Bwari Area Council and urged the Chairman of the council to put measures in place to address the challenges.

The director, however, said with the concerted efforts of the department, the level of cleanliness in the city had improved, adding that education and health institutions have also witnessed an improve state of environmental condition.

” The sanitation state of markets neighborhood shopping centres and housing estates within the city has improved.

” Also there is a slight improvement in the sanitation condition in major settlement at the area councils,” he said.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Metro

FG resumes negotiations on Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail project – Amaechi

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Mr Chibuike Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation said on Thursday that negotiations for the possible construction of the Port HarcourtMaiduguri rail line were ongoing.

The minister said this in a statement issued by Mr Israel Ibeleme, his Media Aide.

According to Amaechi, the Federal Government and the Chinese Government are still negotiating on the project.

The minister also said that the Federal Government would also continue its negotiations with Russians for the commencement of the LagosCalabar rail project.

“The six geo-political zones are all covered, Port HarcourtMaiduguri covers Port Harcourt, Aba, Owerri, Umuahia, Enugu, Abakaliki, Awka, Makurdi, Lafia, Akwanga, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe, and connects to Damaturu, and then Maiduguri.

“The LagosCalabar rail line covers the whole of the South South zone. We have Lagos coming through Akure, Benin.

“Then from Benin we have a spot leading to Agbor and Asaba to Onitsha and then you continue to Benin to Ughelii, Warri, Yenagoa, Port Harcourt, Aba, Uyo, and Calabar that takes care of the South South zone.

“While the Port HarcourtMaiduguri rail line takes care of the South East and North East zones.

“The LagosKano rail line also takes care of the South West zone and parts of the North West and North Central zones.’’

According to Amaechi, the central line that starts from Abuja also takes care of the North Central zone, which includes Kogi and Kwara states.

He noted that the construction of the rail lines across the country required huge funding even as he acknowledged Nigeria’s rising borrowing profile.

The minister said that in view of the debts already incurred, if there was not enough money to construct new rail lines, money could be borrowed to rehabilitate the existing ones.

“Currently what we now have as functional lines are: LagosIbadan (156km), Abuja-Kaduna (186km), and Itakpe-Warri which is about 350km all put together under this government.

“We have recorded a total of about 600+km of railway and by the time we complete the IbadanKano rail line which is about 860km, we will be having 1500+km railway constructed by this government.

“I hope that the next government that will take over from us will be able to do something in that regard to progress the railway, because even if we finish the LagosKano and LagosCalabar rail lines, the Port Harcourt–Maduguri line still needs to be finished,” the minister said.

(Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Emmanuel Yashim) (NAN)

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Metro

Cleric asks leaders how they wish to be remembered

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His Eminence, Solomon Alao, Supreme Head, Cherubim and Seraphim Unification, World Wide, on Thursday charged politicians, religious, traditional and Spiritual leaders to reflect on their lives after service and how they wish to be remembered.

Alao, who gave the charge in Abuja at the 2019 National Christian Youth Convention organised by the Christian Association of Nigeria Youth Wing (YOWICAN),  stressed that nobody stays in office or power forever.

According to him, our leaders have failed the country and must begin to reflect on possible ways of rebuilding and setting the nation on the right lane again.

”Politicians, religious leaders, traditional leaders and spiritual leaders must think about what they want to be remembered for after they leave office.

”Will you be a politician that will be remembered for lawlessness, self-centeredness, insecurity, embezzlement, poor infrastructure and all manner of evils,” he said.

Alao also urged religious leaders to reflect on what God had called them to do, and to assess themselves if they were doing the right things by upholding truth and integrity at all times.

”Will you be remembered as a religious leader who condoles evils at the pulpit, accepts money and sell leadership positions?

”Will you be remembered as a leader who collect money from people not minding the source of the money and tell lies to manipulate the people?

”Traditional leaders, will you be remembered for destroying your community, for heading a criminal and corrupt community?

”We must begin to ask ourselves all this questions and start turning a new live, we must think about the youths and the kind of generation we want to leave behind,” he said.

Prophet Isa Buba, Guest speaker, said that the youths must take their place in leadership positions of the country.

Buba, who believed that the youths of Nigeria hold the key to changing the dynamics of the country,  added that the youths must understand their purpose of existence.

”God did not create us for our own personal interests, gains or comfort rather God created us for his own glory.

”The country is bleeding, organisations are bleeding, the people are bleeding. The country is crying and is in desperate need for positive change.

”This country belongs to us all as such, nobody will fix it for us, we must fix it ourselves. We must as youths change this country for the better,” he added.

Buba further noted that for Nigeria to be redeemed, it will cost us pain, but the work must be done. Nigeria must be saved because the future of this country lies in our hand.

”We must be willing to pay the necessary price as nothing comes without a price, we must be willing to pay the price,” he said.

Nyeneime Andy, President, YOWICAN, said that the major problem with Nigeria was greed.

Andy, who urged the politicians to stop using and destroying the youths, stressed that taking a bullet for any politician was the worst thing any youth could do to himself.

”We are fighting greed, we want to raise a generation of youth without greed, we must realise who we are.

”We are the leaders of tomorrow and if you allow a politician to use you or if you take a bullet and die today, there will be no tomorrow for you.

”The senior politicians believe that they will remain in power forever, but it’s not true,” he said.

Blessing Tambaya a Baker, urged her fellow youths not to wait or depend on what government could do for them.

Tambaya, who noted that everyone had a special gift and the potentials of becoming wealthy,  stressed that the youths must spend their time wisely.

”You can start small, no matter how small, don’t wait for the government because you might wait forever.

”Do not be desperate because the Senator you want to drive his kind of car started a long time ago and from somewhere, so you must start from somewhere to become somebody great tomorrow,” she said.

Edited /Felix Ajide

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We’re back on Lagos roads to save lives, VIS tells motorists

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The Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS) in Lagos State says its officers are back on Lagos roads to carry out statutory life-saving mandates through enforcement of motor vehicles’ roadworthiness.

The Director of VIS, Mr Akin-George Fashola, made this known in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Thursday.

He said that residents of the state, especially road users thought Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) were off the roads.

NAN reports that the immediate past Governor of the state, Akinwunmi Ambode, banned VIOs from operating on the roads.

Fashola said: “Since the advent of this administration, citizens still believe that VIS or VIOs are still off the roads. We are not off the roads.

“As a matter of fact, we are back on the roads to do the needful.

“We have embraced a lot of new practices and procedures. We have embraced technology and that still needs the presence of VIOs on our roads in Lagos to mitigate where technology is limited.

“The presence of VIOs is required, so we are on the road. A lot of people still believe that we are still under the previous ban from the road.’’

According to him, the period of ban, was an avenue for the vehicle inspectors to strategise and come back with fresh and new ideas and ways of performing the statutory duties the VIS is charged with.

He said that for the entire period, when the VIS was off the road, most drivers and vehicle owners became careless about roadworthiness, particulars and conditions of their vehicles.

“For the period that we were not on the road, a lot of people became relaxed and do as they pleased, whereas part of the reasons for that our off-road operation was to allow citizens to do their civic responsibilities.

“Part of such responsibilities is to ensure that their vehicles are always in top shape as well as obtaining driver’s licence and renewal of vehicles’ particulars but that was not the case.

“Some of the citizens are having difficulties with us being on the road now and we are also having difficulties with them because they don’t want to believe that we are back on roads,’’ the VIO boss said.

On the impact of the VIS, Fashola said that VIS was progressively moving in the right direction and improving on its services toward the citizens of the state.

According to him, going forward, the VIS will make adjustment in its daily procedures and how it interacts with the citizens of the state.

On the roadworthiness of most vehicles plying Lagos roads, the VIO boss said that only 50 per cent of the volume of traffic in the state could be said to be roadworthy.

He said: “I give the roadworthiness of vehicles on our roads 50:50 score marks.

“There are citizens who take pride in driving safe vehicles and those that do not care as long as the car is moving, nothing concerns them. These are some of the things we have to contend with and deal with.’’

Fashola called for the cooperation of motorists, urging them to obtain all necessary documents that guaranteed and qualified them to be on the road.

He said those driving without driver’s licences and other genuine particulars should desist from such habits, saying that they should either get or renew their particulars.

Fashola warned: “If you are caught driving without a licence, no plea for that failure. It is not a difficult document to get.

“It is a licence that guarantees and qualifies you to use the road. If it is expired, go and renew it.’’

He said that the minimum fine is N20,000 for not having a licence.

He said: “If you think of the money you part with, the time it will take you to go through the process and collect your vehicle, you will go and get the genuine documents,’’

Edited by Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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Metro

Institute challenges social workers on professional conduct

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Institute of Social Work of Nigeria (ISOWN) has called on social workers to be professional in the discharge of their dutie. The Executive Secretary of the institute, Dr John Emaimo, made the call in an interview with Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Abuja.

Emaimo said that it was important for social workers to understand their roles in the advancement of human dignity, especially in the wake of modern

day slavery and other vices.

Social work is a hands-on profession that strives to help people and families to deal with different problems. The exact work that

social workers perform depends on their specific field.

It is a practice-based profession and an academic discipline that promotes social change and development, social cohesion, and the

empowerment.

While child welfare social workers spend every day dealing with foster children, bio-parents and the juvenile courts, clinical

social workers diagnose and treat mental, behavioral, and emotional issues.

The executive secretary, therefore, said “social workers have invaluable roles in the fight against modern slavery, human trafficking, and forced labour.

“Victims of these crimes are unable to contribute to the economic growth of the country because they are often judged and excluded from society.

“The universal declaration of human rights states that all humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights.

“This is the standard the international community has formally committed to upholding, as such, social work practice is meant to promote human

wellbeing and correct the conditions that limit access to their rights.”

Emaimo added that it was important to maintain assistance to victims of slavery and other vices and ensure that rescued persons were  treated as

victims and not criminals.

He said “as professionals, social workers have unique and powerful roles toward supporting victims of any vice to be on their

feet to help themselves and also help others.”

Edited by Joseph Edeh/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)

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