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Senate wants FG to invest in fire safety equipment

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The Senate has urged the Federal Government to invest more in fire safety equipment in all major markets across the country, to reduce the effect of fire incidents on lives and property of citizens.

Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (YPP Anambra South), said this while speaking to newsmen after plenary, following a motion he sponsored on the “Tragic Fuel Tanker Fire disaster in Onitsha, Anambra State” at the National Assembly, on Thursday in Abuja.

According to him, this motion is necessitated by the inferno that engulfed Onitsha Market on Oct. 16, 2019 claiming lives and property

 “ We had delay in response from firefighting services getting to the market after almost four hours, the tanker fell in a gully and there was spill of petroleum products and the spill was moving and with the pace of the spill and fire and was consuming and burning shops with pace and speed.

“ And looking at the firefighting services we are supposed to have firefighting equipment in the market because the market generates a lot of money for the state.

“ So, I think on the part of the state government, on the part of federal government and on the part of every stakeholder, we need to look into it and make sure we provide this equipment in the market where a lot of revenue is being generated for the government both the federal and the state.

 “ We are hoping that we need to have it in all the major market in Nigeria and that is also one of the resolutions we have passed today in the senate that we should ask to federal government to provide firefighting equipment in all major markets in Nigeria’’.

 Sen. Ubah attributed most of the tanker fire related incidents to substandard materials used in the manufacturing of tankers, and called for safety regulatory checks to mitigate repeat of such incidences.

  “On the issue of fire inferno, there are a lot of fire infernos; this is particular about tanker fire inferno

“And I have a bill I have proposed, and I believe if that bill is passed it will help to curtail and reduce this kind of occurrences.

“ I have also said it before here, that some of these issues relate to inadequate equipment that are being used in constructing petrol tankers viz the manholes’, the discharge valves and also the steel plates, which sometimes doesn’t meet requirement,  the required standard.

“In this bill we have been able to put all this investigations into a working position, so by the time the bill is passed we will start having particular agency of government looking into these tanker drivers.

“Every depot that is going to load fuel to any tanker driver must make sure that the tanker coming into the depot meets all the required regulations or required approvals before allowing the petrol tanker to take fuel.”

According to him, the proposed bill has been thoroughly investigated and the result is a workable bill that will ensure an agency of government is assigned to monitor the activities of tankers.

The bill will make certain that all tankers meet required regulations and standards before loading at the depot and as they move from one state to another.

NAN reports that the motion was co-sponsored by Senators Stella Uduah (PDPAnambra North) and Uche Ekwunife (PDPAnambra Central).


Edited by Felix Ajide


Politics

Senate mandates committees to investigate NEMA on disaster response activities

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Disaster

Abuja, Nov. 19, 2019 The Senate has mandated its Committees on Special Duties, Ecology and Climate Change and Environment to investigate the effectiveness of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in its disaster response activities in 2019.

This was sequel to a Point of Order raised by Sen. Yaroe Binos, (PDPAdamawa South) during Tuesday’s plenary.

The motion was entitled “The need for immediate disaster response by NEMA to communities in Demsa, Numan, Guyuk and Lamurde Local Government Areas of Adamawa, severely affected by flooding in October.”

The upper chamber also directed NEMA to immediately implement a response programme for the flood disaster that affected various communities of Demsa, Numan, Lamurde and Guyuk Local Government Areas of Adamawa, as per the detailed submission of the disaster made to NEMA.

While raising orders 42 and 52, Binos said that NEMA was established via Act No.12 as amended by Act No. 50 of 1999.

“It was established for managing disasters in Nigeria through formulation of policies on all activities relating to disaster management and coordination of plans and programmes for efficient and effective response to disasters in Nigeria.”

He said that the major disaster in form of “destructive flooding“ in parts of Adamawa occurred in Oct. 2019 as a result of the release of excess water by the authorities of Lagdo dam in Cameroon.

“NEMA performed a disaster response action by distributing relief materials to communities in Furfure, Yola South and North Local Government Areas affected by the flood.

“This intervention by NEMA was not extended to other local government areas in Adamawa along river Benue valley equally affected by flood,” Binos said.

He further said that although the attention of director-general of the agency was drawn to the need to provide relief materials to communities of the four local governments mentioned, nothing had been done by NEMA till date.

Supporting the motion, Sen. Shuaibu Lau (PDPTaraba North) said that there was need to call NEMA to order because each time there was flood along the Benue valley, it usually start from Adamawa, Taraba and Benue.

“There is no way each time there is flood, the NEMA will select some few areas and give relief materials and leave the others.”

“When there is disaster, NEMA needs to go along the river Benue and ascertain which areas were affected with a view to bringing relief materials to the areas affected,” Lau said.

All the resolutions were adopted by the Senators after a voice vote by the President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan.

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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Politics

Lawan swears in Sen. Danbaba

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Lawan swears in Sen Danbaba

Swear

Abuja, Nov. 19. 2019The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, has swore in Sen. Ibrahim Danbaba as Senator representing Sokoto South in the National Assembly.

Danbaba left the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the 8th Senate alongside Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, to join Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), where he contested for the Senatorial seat but lost to Shehu Tambuwal of APC.

He challenged the verdict in court and the Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division, returned him as the winner of the March 19 election.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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General news

Centre decries widespread violence in Kogi elections

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The Socio Economic Research and Development Centre (SERDEC) has decried what it called, the widespread violence and intimidation that characterised the Nov.16 governorship and national assembly elections in Kogi.

A statement by the Executive Director of SERDEC, Mr Tijani Abdulkareem on Tuesday in Lokoja, said in spite of the process being truncated and disrupted by violence, the people still came out en masse to cast their vote.

According to Abdulkarim, “the just concluded election from available reports from our observers, was marred with serious reported issues that would undermine the integrity of democracy if not critically looked into and resolved”.

He, however, commended the Kogi electorate for their determination and resilience by coming out in their numbers to exercise their franchise during the elections.

He alleged that the elections across polling units in the state witnessed voters’ inducement and vote buying and non use of smart card readers for accreditation in some polling units.

The executive director also said that there were intimidation and harassment of voters, observers and journalists; disruption of voting process and late arrival of election materials in some polling units.

The centre, therefore, called on the police and other security agencies deployed for election duty to explain to the public, the cases of electoral violence that occurred at their duty posts.

He stressed that security men were reported to be helpless as a result of the astronomic height of violence, thuggery, and vote buying which had marred the integrity of the election.

”In an election where the electoral process was interrupted, it is expected that the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) would follow its guiding principles by cancelling and ordering a rerun for the places where ballot boxes were snatched, so as to avail voters the right to vote,” he said.

Edited by Abdullahi Yusuf

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Politics

Aviation: Buhari seeks passage of 6 bills by Senate

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday, transmitted a letter to the Senate, seeking consideration and passage of six Aviation Bills.

The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan read the letter during plenary.

The President, in the letter said: “Dear Distinguished Senate President; Transmission of Six Aviation Sector Bills to the National Assembly for consideration and passage into law.

“Pursuant to Section 58 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, I formally request that the following six bills be considered for passage by the Senate.”

The bills include: Civil Aviation Bill 2019, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria Bill 2019, Nigerian College of Air space Management Agency Establishment Bill 2019.

Others are: Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Establishment Bill 2019, Nigerian Meteorological Agency Establishment Bill 2019 and Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau Establishment Bill 2019.

“While I trust that these bills will be expeditiously and favourably considered by the Senate, please, accept Mr Senate President the assurances of my highest consideration.”

In his remark, Lawan urged the Clerk to the Senate, Nelson Ayewo to ensure that the bills were gazetted and distributed to all the Senators for consideration.

Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Dada Ahmed

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Politics

Organised labour felicitates with Bello on election victory

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The organised labour in Kogi has congratulated Gov. Yahaya Bello and his Deputy, Chief Edward Onoja on their victory in the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

The Kogi chapter of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued the statement in Lokoja on Tuesday.

The state NLC Chairman, Mr Onuh Edoka and his TUC counterpart, Mr Ranti Ojo, urged Bello and Onoja in the state urged Bello and Onoja to see the renewal of their mandate as an opportunity to work more for the people.

They also called on the governor to prioritise the welfare of civil servants in his second term, assuring him of the continued support and loyalty of the entire workforce.

They, however, urged aggrieved candidates in the election to seek legal redress and refrain from acts capable of breaching the fragile peace in the state.

“The organised labour commiserates with the families that lost their loved ones in the course of this election.

“We urge all relevant agencies connected to elections in Nigeria to do their jobs diligently to put a stop to unwarranted deaths,” the labour said.

Edited by Dada Ahmed

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Politics

Taraba Speaker hails Gov. Darius Ishaku’s victory at Appeal Court

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The Speaker of Taraba House of Assembly Mr Abel Diah, has congratulated Gov. Darius Ishaku on his victory at the Appeal court in Abuja.

Diah said that the judgment did not come as a surprise, adding that the appellate court only affirmed the decision of Taraba masses who turned out en masse for the re-election of Ishaku.

He assured the people of the state that the governor would reciprocate their gesture by consolidating on the achievement he has recorded in his first tenure.

NAN reports that the Court of Appeal in Abuja, on Monday, upheld the judgment of the Governorship Election Petition Tribunal, which earlier dismissed the petition by the All Progressives Congress (APC) challenging the victory of Ishaku during the March 9, gubernatorial election.

The five-member panel of the court led by Justice Chidi Nwanna dismissed the appeal.

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Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde/

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