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A’Ibom To Restructure Vehicles Inspection Unit

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The Akwa Ibom Ministry of Transport said recently it would restructure the Vehicles Inspection Unit to curb road traffic accidents in the state.

The ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Mr Offiong Udofia, made this known while inaugurating the Truck Road Safety Campaign in Uyo.

Udofia said that the major cause of road accidents was the attitude of drivers who refused to obey simple road signs.

He lamented that a lot of lives had been lost on the roads and government could not watch the lives of innocent citizens being wasted by reckless drivers.

“The ministry of transport is doing everything possible to restructure and reposition the vehicle inspection unit to ensure that we do proper monitoring and regulation of vehicles on our roads” he said.

“You will discover that three things are involved; if we must maintain safety on roads, the attitude of the driver while in the steering is very important and drivers’ attitude has to be changed.

“Governments at all levels must endeavour to construct and maintain good roads to ensure safety. With good roads, the rate of road accidents will be reduced.

“The third one is the maintenance of these vehicles, let us ensure that our vehicles are in good working condition as owners, before we enter the road,” he said.

The permanent secretary warned drivers that the government would not tolerate any act of recklessness by drivers, adding that the lives of citizens were of paramount importance.

Earlier, the Sector Commander, FRSC Akwa Ibom, Mr Fidelis Osakwe, blamed road accidents on fatigue.

Osakwe advised truck drivers to always have enough sleep before embarking on long distance journeys and rest at any point of feeling fatigue.

He warned them against disobeying road signs and drinking alcohol while driving, adding that the consequence of disobedience was accident.

The sector commander said in line with international standards, drivers and other road users should target reduction of road crashes to the barest minimum by 2015.

Our correspondent reports that the event was organised by FRSC in collaboration with Arrive Alive Initiative.

The high point of the event was the distribution of wake-up devices by the Chairman of the initiative, Mr Ike Okonkwo, to truck drivers who were present.

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Association To Interface With Oil, Gas Firms Over Pollution … Partners NBA

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The Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN), Rivers State Chapter, has declared its willingness to interface with oil and gas companies operating in the State to reduce the level of environmental pollution in the State.
The National President of the association and Associate Professor of Energy and Environmenal Law, Dr. Samuel Chisa Dike, who dropped this hint in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, said the association was taking the step in order for the companies to reduce their environmental pollution footprints in the State.
According to him, there is need for oil and gas companies operating in the State to adopt what happens in the United Kingdom and other developed nations by reducing drastically their carbon footprints.
Dike explained that mechanics, automobile and oil and gas companies constitute the worst agents of pollution in Nigeria, and therefore, appealed to them to do something to actually safeguard the environment.
According to him, Rivers Sate is heavily polluted as a result of soot.
He said the association was going to interface with the companies first before resorting to litigation or class action, contending that carbon emission is the major cause of soot being experienced in the State.
“The environment is clean but it is being degraded by human beings. We are going to interface with the companies and appeal to them. We are going to sue industries that are pollution-prone. If they fail to do something, we resort to redress, litigation or class action,” he said.
Dike indicated that the organisation would also talk with the government and the organised private sector, stressing that the restoration of the ecosystem is very important.
Meanwhile, the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN), has partnered with the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Port Harcourt Branch, in a bid to actualise its determination to champion the protection and restoration of the environment in Rivers State.
To this end, the executive of the association recently paid a sensitisation visit to the Chairman of NBA, Port Harcourt Branch, Prince O. Nyekwere in his office in Port Harcourt and inaugurated him as a Green Advocate of the Environment as well as challenged him and the Bar to join the vanguard of those fighting against environmental pollution in the State.
The National President of the association, Dr. Samuel Chisa Dike, who briefed him on the activities of the body, intimated him of the steps the organisation was taking to remedy the environment.
In his response, Prince Nyekwere assured that NBA would partner with the body in the cause and regretted that the government was not doing much in that direction.
Nyekwere said companies operating in the country rather prefer to pay penalties instead of stopping gas flaring, stressing that artisanal refining also known as kpofire is what is causing the soot the state is experiencing.
According to him, “we need to be proactive.”

By: Donatus Ebi

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Petrol Scarcity Looms In Abuja, Others As Marketers Begin Strike

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Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and neighbouring locations may face petrol scarcity in the coming days as oil marketers who distribute products in these areas have commenced an industrial action.
Oil dealers under the aegis of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, Suleja/Abuja Unit, started the strike on Monday following disagreements between them and the Department of Petroleum Resources.
On Sunday, the marketers threatened to embark on strike over alleged extortion by DPR officials, a claim that was denied by the regulator, as it argued that its demand from the marketers was a statutory requirement.
The IPMAN Chairman, Suleja/Abuja Unit, Yahaya Alhassan, had kicked against DPR’s request for daily stock of products supplied by dealers who patronise the Suleja depot in Niger State, describing it as unethical.
But the Head, Public Affairs, DPR, Paul Osu, argued that the request was a statutory regulatory requirement for any retail outlet licence holder, which enabled DPR to provide accurate petroleum products consumption data for the country.
The association’s National Vice President, IPMAN, Abubakar Maigandi, told a national daily (not The Tide) that the strike had begun.
“I have confirmed but we at the national level, we don’t want to involve ourselves in that issue,” he said.
On whether the association was not concerned that the strike could cause petrol scarcity in Abuja, Niger, Kaduna and other locations, Maigandi expressed hope that the strike would be short-lived.
“It is normal to see queues as a result of strike, but I know that it won’t take long. They will resolve the issue very soon because by Tuesday we hope they will call our attention to the matter,” he said.
The DPR, however, maintained that its regulatory oversight was at no cost to the retail outlets, stressing that the provision of the daily stock report also enabled it to provide guide to investors in line with its role in the sector.

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FRSC Partners NAICOM, NHIS On Compulsory Motor, Health Insurance

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The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM), has sought the support of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) on implementation of some of the compulsory insurance policies in the country.
NAICOM disclosed that the FRSC and the commission expressed their readiness to cooperate on the enforcement of third party motor insurance when the Corps Marshall, Boboye Oyeyemi, and his team visited the commission.
“Both parties have agreed to work out an effective plan for the enforcement of third party motor insurance,” the commission said.
The commission also said it hosted the Executive Secretary, NHIS, Prof. Nasir Sambo, and his team.
According to the commission, both parties agreed to work together on the implementation of professional indemnity insurance for health workers.
The Head, Corporate Communications and Marketing Development, NAICOM, Salami Rasaaq, said the commission was committed to achieving its market development drives.
He said that the Market Development and Restructuring Initiative was launched in 2009 as a vehicle to among others drive enforcement of compulsory insurances, reduce incidences of fake insurance and in the process grow the sector.

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