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Council Boss Decongests Bishop Okoye Road, Disbands Criminals

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The Mayor of Port Harcourt, Hon Victor Ihunwo, has stated that the purpose of enforcing the ban on illegal parks and street trading specially at Bishop Okoye street, Mile 3, Diobu was aimed at decongesting the road and disbanding the criminals in the area.
Phalga council boss who stated this on Monday at Bishop Okoye street, Mile 3, Diobu, Port Harcourt, when he led the task force to enforce the ban order said the action was not targeted at any person or tribe, rather it was to ensure that free flow of road traffic returns back to the Governor Wike dualised road and to tackle the security challenges in the area.
According to him, the criminals come out to rob people of their belongings, and run back to the market, harassed, saying that hence forth the market would close by 6.30 pm.
Speaking to The Tide, a road user, Jonah Ibiba said stopping street market at Bishop Okoye was a welcome development as the action would enhance free flow of traffic on that road Governor Wike spent billions of naira to dualise, pointing out that before now, wheel barrows and load jobmen would quack customers and block the road with no remorse.
On the contrary, the affected street trader, Mrs Ijeoma Agwu, counted her loses since the enforcement on street trading commenced, lamenting that her business had been shattered as she had no place to go.
She pleaded that an alternative place should be allocated to them as a way to ameliorate their suffering, adding that her survival scale depends on buying and selling.
A shop owner along Bishop Okoye street, Mrs Juliet Amadi frowned at the 6.30pm closing time as ordered by the mayor of Port Harcourt, saying that the shops in the area were fenced with wire guage by the government, which excluded them from being part of the street traders, because they do not go or sell beyond the fence and this she said, made them to stay on business up till 8 pm or more.
But now that the Mayor had come out with a new closing 6-30pm, it would affect our marginal profit due to loss of business hours she lamented, appealing that the time be extended to at least 8 pm as they were not part of the street traders on that road.

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FRSC Nabs 444 Traffic Offenders In A’Ibom

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Akwa Ibom State Sector Command said yesterday that it arrested 444 road traffic offenders and presecuted 50 during the command’s special patrol this month.
The Sector Commander, Mr Sunday Oghenekaro, disclosed this to newsmen in Uyo while speaking on the activities of the command.
Oghenekaro said that the 50 offenders were prosecuted in the Mobile Court.
He said that the command, during the period, recorded four road crashes in which two persons lost their lives and 22 sustained injuries.
He emphasised the need for taking safety measures by all road users, pedestrians, motorcyclists, tricycles operators and motorists of different categories of vehicles.
“During the August Special Operation, 444 traffic offenders were arrested  for contravening various traffic offences within the 31 Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom.
“The offences committed ranged from tyre violation to safe helmet violation, light/signs violation and driving without seatbelt, among others.
“The use of mobile court has really helped us reduce road crashes in the state, especially during festive periods and we will continue to use it in prosecuting traffic offenders,” Oghenekaro said.
The sector commander said that excessive speed, dangerous/reckless driving and drunkenness were major causes of road crashes in the state, stressing that motorists should drive to stay alive and learn to begin their journeys in time.
Oghenekaro cautioned motorists to be careful while driving under special weather conditions such as during rainfall.
He also advised them to avoid use of worn-out tyres and cell phones and ensure that their vehicles were in good condition while driving.
He said the command would continue to engage drivers across the state on public enlightenment as well as consequences of traffic rule violation to achieve the corps’ mandate of zero tolerance for road crashes. The sector commander appealed to motorists and all road users in the state to adhere strictly to safety rules and regulations to stay alive.

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Transport

Bureau Moves To Investigate Road, Rail Accidents

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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has disclosed that a bill to empower the bureau to investigate rail, road and marine accidents and serious incidents is currently before the Senate.
AIB’s Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, confirmed the development to newsmen in Lagos, recently.
Olateru said that the Federal Executive Council had approved the proposal for the new draft of AIB Bill, adding that the bill was on the table at the upper chamber before the Senate went on recess.
“We are currently working on the possibility and the approval by the National Assembly of AIB going multimodal in our operations.
“Going multimodal means we are not just going to be investigating air accidents alone but we will be investigating rail, marine and road accidents.
“We will be joining other nations around the world who operate the multimodal system.
“Hopefully, before the end of this year, this bill will be passed and that will make AIB Nigeria one of the top nations that operate multimodal system,” he said.
Olateru noted that the reason the likes of Samsung, Apple, Amazon were top brands in the world today was because they spent time, money and energy on research and development.
According to him, if an organisation remains stagnant in its operations without research and development, the world would leave the organisation behind.
Olateru said the techniques of accident investigation whether it was road, rail, marine, or air was the same, while the end goal remained how to prevent future occurrence.
He said in preparation for the multimodal system in the last one year, AIB had sent 30 of its investigators to Cranfield University in United Kingdom to train on the multimodal accident investigation.
He said they were all back in Nigeria and it had another two investigators going in September to complete the cycle.
He added that the organisation was also working closely with the U.S.-NTSB and Singapore-NTSB on training.
Olateru said by the time this bill was passed, AIB would take on some workers from Nigeria Railway and Maritime who would be trained on how to investigate accidents properly.
He said the multimodal system was a huge scope because AIB Nigeria was not charging for it, adding that the agency therefore required more funding by the Federal Government.
“If you look at the new Act before the parliament, we have increased our scope of earnings to accommodate enough funds for AIB to function.
“The fund will be used to support our operations, train our personnel, buy more equipment and support the multimodal system as a whole,” he said.
Olateru, while reacting to the possibility of having data recorder system on all the transportation system said that in the world today, most ships and trains now have recorder system.
The commissioner, however, said there was a way the bureau could investigate road accident beyond the recorder system.
Olateru said: “On the road accident investigation, whenever there is a road mishap due to maybe huge ditch on the road, then we will issue a safety recommendations to Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) as well as Ministry in charge of Roads, Power and Housing to fix the road.
“This is because we do not want the recurrence and once it is fixed it will prevent needless deaths on our roads.

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NRC To Fence New Standard Gauge Rail Line In Lagos

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says the Lagos corridor of the 156 kilometers Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail line would be fenced to avoid casualty within the metropolis.
NRC Lagos District Manager, Mr Jerry Oche, made this known yesterday while speaking to newsmen in Lagos.
He said that the fencing would stop human and vehicular accidents along the rail line.
“The standard gauge is going to be fenced. When there is a barrier, it will prevent people from encroaching on the rail line. It will be faster and people will be prevented from indiscriminate intrusion,’’ he said.
Oche said that with the barrier in place, it would be illegal for people crossing the blockade for any reason at any point in time.
“It will not be business as usual. It won’t allow suicide mission and we wouldn’t want that to happen.
“That is why we are warning people now before the operation start,” he said.
The district manager said that the barricade initially built for the old narrow gauge rail line was pulled down by the people around the corridor.
When completed, the standard gauge would travel at 150 kilometers per hour, he said.

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