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FRSC Seeks Infrastructural Adjustments Over Bicycle Transport Proposal

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says some infrastructural adjustments are needed in Abuja to support the proposed introduction of bicycle transport in the nation’s capital city.
The Corps’ Public Education Officer, Mr Bisi Kazeem, stated this in an interview with newsmen in Abuja, recently.
Kazeem said the plan also required amendment of the National Road Safety Regulations to include provisions for the safety of cyclists.
He spoke against the backdrop of the recent announcement of the proposed bicycle policy by the National Council on Transportation (NCT) after its 15th meeting in Sokoto.
“As a pilot scheme, if Abuja is taken, there is need for restructuring of some intersections before we can kick start it successfully.
“FRSC studied all the road networks in Abuja, and we have identified the gaps and recommended measures to address the.
“During the study, which we carried out with officials of the FCTA (Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), we found out that all roads and streets have provisions for bicycle lanes in the design, but at the point of construction the lanes were either ignored, merged with pedestrian walkways, making the walkways too wide, or were turned into green areas.
“I think it is only on Yakubu Gowon Way in Asokoro that the lane is being implemented. So, a key concern is the need for re-engineering of intersections and traffic lights to provide for cyclists.’’
The Minister of Transport, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who made the announcement after the NCT meeting, had said Abuja was chosen as pilot because it already had cycling facilities.
Amaechi stated that introduction of bicycle transport would reduce road traffic congestion and environmental pollution as well as improve the health of riders among other benefits.
Speaking in the same vain, Kazeem said that the FRSC would work with other stakeholders for its successful implementation of the policy.
“In fact, FRSC commenced the promotion of urban cycling since 2011, it is not new to us. Since then we have built collaborations and established and funded the National Stakeholders Committee for four years running comprising all government agencies relating to transport, private sector and unions for four years running.
“The committee developed the first draft National Cycling Policy, which could not be approved by the previous administration owing to bureaucracy.
“We commenced the national bicycle week and hosted three editions. We have understudied different countries’ cycling systems for domestication, and we have studied all the road networks in Abuja which is the pilot.
“So, it is a welcome development and the policy announcement actually came as a result of a presentation that the FRSC made at that council of transport summit.
“For us, the announcement by the ministry confirmed our several years of advocacy and drive to make cycling a mode of transport.
“We are ready and we are going to work with other stakeholders to see to the success of this policy.’’
Kazeem stated that cycling was already part of the FRSC public education pro-grammes.
TheTide source recalls that eight officers of the Corps recently underwent training in the Netherlands, the world leader in cycling, in traffic safety for non-motorised transport with cycling as focus.
Some experts also came from Netherlands to train about 24 other FRSC officers, and officials of the Federal Ministries of Power, Works and Housing, Transport, and the FCT Administration.
The FRSC spokesman said the Corps was working to duplicate the training across its formations nationwide.

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Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority

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The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja. 
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years. 
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage   – NEITI

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Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)   has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.

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Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains. 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives. 
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area. 
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.

By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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