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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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Transport

Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance

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The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), Passports Command, Ikoyi, has increased its surveillance  on touting in a bid to check extortion within its jurisdiction.
Speaking in an exclusive chat with The Tide in Lagos, last Friday, the Immigration Comptroller, Passports Office, Ikoyi, Lagos, Deputy Comptroller Liman A.I , said the negative impact of touting on the nation’s economy would not be allowed to continue under his watch.
He said ,”we are applying persuasion, dialogue and seeking the support of all well meaning stakeholders in this area to spread the anti-touting message and dissuade people from unlawful acts. However, we could apply coercive power as the need arises.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Alhaji Mohammed Babandede, we at the PCO, Ikoyi, Lagos, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGIS. 
“We are prepared more than ever to wage the anti-miscreants war relentlessly.
Liman assured the general public of friendly environment for legitimate transaction in an effort to strengthen the national economy, warning deviants to shun touting and other related vices.
According to him, “the command has keyed into the various strategies including the use of ICT in gathering of intelligence, among others.
“The service believes that the fight against miscreants within its corridor cannot be undertaken by the service alone, hence our call on Nigerians to partner with us in ensuring that the passport seekers do not patronise touts to defraud them. Our resolve is unshaken and our commitment is total”. 
On her part, the Public Relations Officer of the command, a Deputy Superintendent of Immigration (DSI), Mrs Adetoun Shiyindemi, commended the Deputy Comptroller Liman, for his selfless service, pointing out that he has really given the officers and men of the command a sense of belonging. 
“Since the Comptroller came in, it has been a servant-leader relationship here at Ikoyi PCO and we are all motivated to put in our best with what the CGIS has given us, you will see a new immigration service”, she assured.

By: NkpemenyieMcdominic, Lagos

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Maritime

Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty

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The Bonny Maritime Transport Association (BMTA) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Rivers State Government to dredge the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty to enhance marine operations.
The union said the low shore of the river hampers its operations and grounds boats.
The Marine Safety Officer, BMTA, Comrade Kings Don, who made the call, said the low shore of the jetty was not helpful to marine operations.
According to him, drivers and passengers find it difficult to ply the route whenever the tide is low, thus wasting man hours.
“Sometimes, we push the boat to a level it would afloat due to low tide suffered in the jetty. We are appealing to NIMASA and the state government to assist and dredge the jetty for more efficiency”, he pleaded. 
Don described the Port Harcourt/Bonny Jetty as the gateway to Bonny Island and other riverine communities, and called on NIMASA and the state government to intervene and make the marine sector viable in the area. 
He said that the prompt dredging of the jetty would enhance water transportation in the state and improve its revenue generation.
He, however, commended the security agents, especially the Nigerian Navy and the marine police, for rescuing the waterways and creeks from all forms of criminality.
Comrade Don appealed to the security agents to engage in 24-hour patrol of the routes and other channels to save lives and property.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations

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A renowned ship owner in the country, Alhaji Aminu Umar, has decried lack of standardisation and enforcement of safety measures on the nation’s inland waterways by the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA).
He also blamed lack of will to enforce regulations, safety, standard and regulations on overloading, night voyage, rickety and old craft as causes of mishap on the inland waterways.
Alhaji Umar, who is a former president, Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), said in Minna, Niger State, recently that enforcement of safety and standard on the nation’s inland waterways was weak.
Reacting to incessant boat mishaps in the country, Umar said, “there is no standard applied on movement of people, as all kinds of boat are being used. It is important that we standardise, because lack of safety and standard will increase accident.
“I think, the task of NIWA is to standardise conditions and procedures on the nation’s waterways”.
He also called for the regulation of movement of badges and passenger boats across the port environment.
“It’s a huge risk allowing badges moving containers around the port area side by side with boats carrying passengers.
“Moving people and containers at the same time is a huge risk, and a safety concern.
“NIWA and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) should see to this and tackle the menace”, he said.

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