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Keke Operators’ Restriction: Buses, Taxi Cabs Hike Fare

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Following the current order restraining tricycle operators popularly known as “Keke Napep” not to operate beyond 7pm in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State, commercial bus and taxi drivers have seized the opportunity to hike fares.
The Tide reports that the 7pm restriction for Keke operation time came at the heels of the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike marching order to Traditional rulers mandating them to tackle insecurity in their respective domain.
Based on this mandate, Royal fathers in the respective communities pegged 7pm as closing time for tricycle operators whom they alleged were involved in robbery and snatching of bags in the area.
Though the restriction order did not go well with the tricycle operators, Mr Sunday Amanwo a Keke driver, attested to the fact that most of the drivers were into robbery, saying that there was an incident at night where a keke double crossed a vehicle and robbed the car owner then zoomed off untraced. He also noted an incident where unsuspected victims bags were snatched with keke, lamenting that the criminal activities of some of the operators had portrayed their business in a bad light.
Meanwhile commercial bus and taxi drivers who have taken over the job of keke drivers had hiked the transport fares in some of the routes in the area.
Speaking to our correspondent, a taxi driver, Ibe Jorome who ply along Rumuokoro, Rumuagholu route, said the hike on transport fare from the usual N50.00 a drop to N100.00 was burn out of high demand for their services.
According to him, “the 7pm time was a rush hour and the passengers were more than the available buses and taxis, so the only option was to reap from the business opportunity. But it would be temporary pending when commercial buses and tax would flood the route which would eventually force the price back to N50.00.
A passenger Mr Ijeoma Wordu who spoke to our correspondent, lamented over the untold hardship time restriction had caused them, saying that at the close of market on Saturday, she and two children had to treck over six kilometer to their home due to lack of keke.
She also said that the available commercial buses and taxis were hard reach due to rush by crowd inspite of the hike in price.

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Transport

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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Transport

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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