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Why Railway Workers Shunned Labour Strike In Rivers – Chairman

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Surulere Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Tunji Oguntonye (left), discusing with commercial bus drivers on the need to obey speed limit at Ojuelegba, during the West African Safety Organisation Day celebration in Lagos, recently.

Surulere Unit Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps, Mr Tunji Oguntonye (left), discusing with commercial bus drivers on the need to obey speed limit at Ojuelegba, during the West African Safety Organisation Day celebration in Lagos, recently.

The Chairman of Nigeria
Union of Railway Workers (NUR), Rivers State Chapter, Pastor Woyengidengiyeta Ikoni, has given reasons why his union members both at the national and in the state shunned  the protest embarked upon by a section of the organised labour  over petrol price hike by the Federal Government.
Ikoni, in an interview with The Tide in his office in Port Harcourt, Monday said the strike embarked upon by some members of the organised labour was unnecessary as round-table negotiations were still on-going to resolve the increase in price of petrol from N86.50 to N145.00.
He noted that although the new increase was impromptu but there is room for dialogue because it had been the mood of labour that when negotiations are on-going, there should be no strike except when the negotiation ends in deadlock.
According to him, moreso, the Federal Government was ready to negotiate  with Labour on the way forward, pointing out that the strike was a total failure because of the crisis in the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and its affiliate unions as banks were operating during the period, staff of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) were at their duty posts to ensure availability of  Petroleum Products, Electricity Distribution Companies supplied uninterrupted electricity and rail transportation among  others shunned the strike.
The union leader noted that Labour has nothing to do with delegates or number of members but the pedigree and experience stressing that, “issue of poor delegates is irrelevant.  But let the right thing be done by putting the round peg in a round hole.
“In NLC, National President or State Chairman rotates between those in Private Sector and those in Public Sector right from the inception of Comrade Pascal Bafyau.   That was the tradition but the present crisis in the organised labour had been because of the refusal of some labour  leaders to obey the laid down process developed by the founding fathers.
It had been the tradition of NLC that the seat of President or Chairman had been on zoning partern between the private and public sector unions”, Ikoni posited.
He pointed out that the crisis in the state NLC was also as a result of the former NLC chairman, Comrade Chris Oruge who is from the Public Sector refusing to handover to his vice chairman, Comrade Ada Williams who is from the private sector.
The NUR boss however said that factions would not do labour any good and appealed that all should sheet their sword  when the truth is out for peace to reign as  the Nigerian population relies on labour,                                                     therefore the earlier the better for the factions to come together and move the labour unions forward, constitutionally.

 

Collins Barasimeye

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Transport

Lagos Set To Tackle Transport Challenges

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The Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) says efforts have been intensified to introduce quality bus corridor in the metropolis to further tackle transport challenges.
An Assistant Director of LAMATA, Mr Kolawole Ojelabi made the disclosure in an interview with The Tide source on Monday in Lagos.
According to him, the state government is aware of the need for improved transport service as a direct consequence of migration to the state.
“In Lagos State, we have the issue of bus routing. “When you look at the number of buses we have, you will discover that they are not enough to service the population,” he said.
The official said that the state had a population of more than 20 million people, adding that “The past government brought in about 880 buses in a bid to improve the transport system.
“These buses are currently being redeployed by an agency of government known as the Lagos Bus Services Ltd., who are also in-charge of asset management,” he said.
According to him, road development in the state is being taken gradually for effective management and spread.
Ojelabi said that the government was therefore, working on quality bus corridors which would spread to more parts of the metropolis.
According to him, this will take effect before the end of the year.
He noted that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) services had not got to every part of the state; hence, the need for creation of the corridors.
Ojelabi said that where the BRT services were not available, the government would provide new medium-sized buses to service the transportation needs of the people.
According to him, these will come with bus terminuses and shelters to ensure easy access.
He also said that the government had intensified efforts to speed up implementation of its Blue Line rail project from Okokomaiko to Marina.
“Currently, there is a lot of work going on on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
“The whole essence is to fast-track the progress of work from the Lagos end here to at least Lagos State University, Ojo.
Ojelabi said that completion of the road and rail projects would discourage residents of the area from driving their cars to Lagos Island as they would prefer using train or BRT.
” Once this is done, it will also reduce cases of attacks by hoodlums on commuters who will now have the opportunity of riding in BRT or train. “It is a gradual process but we will surely achieve these.
“I can assure you that work has been intensified to realise this as the government is working to ensure the completion of the project and commencement of operations before the end of this administration,” he added.

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Drivers Demand Trailer Park Along Eleme-Bori Road

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Following the incessant road congestion experienced along Eleme-Bori road, commercial drivers have urged the Rivers State Government to build an alternative trailer park that would accommodate tankers and trucks that have been identified as major causes of the congestion on the road.
The Tide investigation revealed that due to lack of trailer park along the route, tankers and trailers resort to parking on both sides of the road, causing road congestion and traffic gridlock.
Apparently frustrated by this congestion, commercial drivers plying the route have appealed to the state government to provide an alternative trailer park that would accommodate trailers and tankers, and thus reduce the rate of road side parking by drivers.
Speaking to The Tide, a Bori bound commercial driver, Barile Deekor said the congestion was as a result of the indiscriminate parking on both sides of the road by tanker and truck drivers, in addition to numerous potholes along the road.
He said the gridlock at times caused delay for as much as two to three hours and in a way affected the daily financial turnover of the drivers.
Also speaking with our correspondent, Edet Udom, a commercial bus driver said “our vehicles keep breaking down, and it costs us some extra expenses to maintain the vehicles due to bad road, especially from Eleme junction to trailer park.
“People (drivers) are running one way and this has resulted to an accident that claimed one life recently. The Police and Federal Road Safety Corps are all there collecting toll from drivers, instead of clearing the road.
“Tanker and trailer drivers are the major players in this act as they occupy both sides of the road therefore, if government can provide an alternative park for them, the road will be decongested”.
In another development, a community leader in Eleme, Mr … Mene has urged the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to employ the services of notable construction companies like Julius Berger and Reynoid Construction Company (RCC) for the proposed rehabilitation of Aleto bridge that is presently caving in.
Mene who gave the charge in a chat with newsmen warned that if the rehabilitation contract was awarded to individuals based on political patronage, the desired results may not be achieved.
He however, commended the NDDC for indicating interest to carry out repair work on the Aleto bridge that is about to collapse.

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Transport

Motorists, Others Laud Wike On Road Rehabilitation 

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Residents of Rumuolumeni in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State have commended the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his promise to embark on rehabilitation work on key roads in the area before the end of the month.
The Tide reports that before the governor’s promise, the people of Rumuolumeni had made several calls on the state government to rehabilitate the roads which they said have crippled the economy of the place as well as hampered their efforts to fight insecurity in the area.
Speaking to The Tide, a resident in the area, Bekwele Worlu, told TheTide that the deplorable condition of many internal roads in Rumuolumeni had slowed down economic activities in the area.
According to him, most tenants have relocated while many shop owners were out of business due to the inaccessibility of roads in the area.
He posited that Rumuolumeni has always been an economically viable town that contributed immensely to the economy of the state, but wondered why such a community would be neglected in the area of road infrastructure.
He therefore, appealed to the state government to create an enabling environment for business to thrive in the area.
Similarly, motorists plying Ada-George/Ngbuoba NTA route have also commended the efforts of Governor Wike for embarking on remediation work on the road.
A motorist, Ebuka Nwangbo, told our correspondent that before remediation work commenced on the road, the level of flooding experienced at the location junction was alarming.
He however, expressed joy that the ongoing work on the road would assuage the feelings of road users in the area.

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