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Traders Decry Poor Patronage Over Bad Road

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Some traders at the Lagos Trade Fair Complex have expressed concern over the inaccessibility of the road that leads to the consortium of markets located within the Lagos Trade Fair Complex.
The traders, in interviews with The Tide’s source said the poor state of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway that leads to the market had made buyers to avoid the complex.
Reports say that the road which has been under construction since 2006, has been abandoned since four years ago, thereby making people go through enormous difficulties coming to the market.
The President, Balogun Business Association (BBA), one of the markets located in the Mr Tony Obi complex, said that the condition of the access road has made coming to the market a nightmare.
“The worst is that the entrance to the market from the road has become so bad that articulated vehicles, laden with goods constantly fall there because of potholes and gullies.
“Customers now rarely come to the market. Since the rains began, we have not been making sales, customers don’t patronise us again and this is worrisome.
“We are appealing to both the Federal Government and the Lagos State Government to do something about the road to enable us continue to be able to earn a living,” Obi said.
A dry fish importer, Mrs Nkechi Akanwa, said that her last stock of one hundred and thirty cartons lasted for two months with most of it getting spoilt.
According to Akanwa, if there is patronage such a stock will ordinarily not last up to two weeks in her shop and it will all be sold.
“I have customers that come from Ghana and other neighbouring countries to purchase goods from me, but for some time now, they have stopped coming, even the ones from within the country are no le onger coming too,” he said.
The fish merchant, who attributed the low patronage to the bad state of the road, said that if the situation should continue, the traders would not be able to pay for shop rates and cater for their immediate responsibilities.
She called on the management of the Trade Fair Complex to provide palliatives at the entrance of the market, to assist vehicles owners coming to the market.
According to reports, reports that the newly inaugurated Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured Lagos residents that rehabilitation work would commence on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, from Mazamaza to Okokomaiko this month.
The governor, announced this during an inspection visit to the Expressway, last week.
“We will ensure that we firm up discussions with the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) and they are able to move back to site, because work has been abandoned here for almost four years,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu noted that despite the completion of the highway from the National Theatre to Mazamaza, indiscriminate dumping of refuse and misuse of the road by traders, have made the route impassable.
He assured that a massive clean-up would take place in the following weeks. “We started the journey from Orile-Iganmu through Mazamaza, and finally here at the Trade Fair.
“The road from National Arts Theatre up to Mazamaza has actually been done, he said.
The governor expressed regret that the heaps of refuse littering the area had made it difficult to appreciate what had been done.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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