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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

Nasarawa Accident: Death Toll Rises To 18

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The death toll from the accident that occurred on Akwanga-Nassarawa Eggon federal highway last Sunday has risen to 18, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) has confirmed.
, Nasarawa state sector commander of the FRSC Mr Ismaila Kugu told newsmen in Lafia on Monday that the accident involved an articulated vehicle and a commuter bus belonging to Benue Links Transport Company.
Kugu said 13 persons had died on the spot while 11 others got injuries and were taken to hospitals in Nassarawa Eggon and Lafia.
“As at this evening (Monday) when we went for follow up,  five of the 11 injured persons we took to the hospitals for treatment have died,” he said.
Kugu said the Corps Marshal, Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, had ordered a full investigation into the accidents on the Akwanga – Nassarawa Eggon axis in view of the recent upsurge in cases resulting in fatalities.
He recalled that a similar accident had occurred in the same axis on September 9, resulting in the death of 11 persons.
“It is quite disheartening to lose 29 souls to road crashes  on a particular route within one week,” Kugu added.
He urged commuters, especially commercial drivers, to exercise caution and patience while plying the route because of its narrow and rough nature.
Kugu also expressed the need for vehicle owners to give more attention to the maintenance of their vehicles, especially trucks, in order to avert some of the accidents. Meanwhile, some commuters have expressed worry over the increasing loss of lives due to crashes on the Lafia-Nasarawa Eggon-Akwanga road and called for urgent attention from relevant authorities.
Mr Friday Ozonue, a commercial bus driver, attributed the accidents to the narrow nature of the road  and recklessness of truck drivers.
Another commercial driver, Malam Bala Adamu, blamed most of the carnage on speeding and dangerous overtaking.

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Transport

Delta Begins Repair Of Federal Roads

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Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the state government has commenced repairs of dilapidated Federal Government roads in the state.
Okowa disclosed this at a thanksgiving service for the state Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro at Christ Embassy, Effurun in Uvwie Local Government Area of the state, on Sunday.
The governor said that the state government got approval from the Federal Government last Thursday to intervene in the repairs of some of the dilapidated portions of some federal roads in the State.
According to him, contractors have been drafted to the roads to carry out rehabilitation adding that palliative work has started on the Benin-Sapele road portion.
He also said that repairs had started at the Asaba end from the River Niger side of the Bridge on the Asaba-Onitsha highway.
The governor assured that the Agbor- Abraka-Eku road, which was also in a deplorable state would be rehabilitated.
“I know that Deltans are unhappy with the deplorable state of federal roads across the state. We may not have the resources to do the roads but we can do palliative work on them.
“After applying for permission from the Federal Government to embark on the rehabilitation of these failed portions of the roads in the state, we got approval three days ago and we have deployed contractors to commence work on the very bad spots,” Okowa said.
The governor said that there were many reasons for his administration to be thankful to God, explaining that were not disappointed with the outcome of the last elections.
Earlier in his remark, Otuaro said that God gave them the victory following the overwhelming support from the people of the state.
He acknowledged the traditional rulers and the clergy and called for more prayers for the state government and the nation.
Otuaro reaffirmed the determination of the Okowa administration to bequeath a “stronger Delta” to the people.
The Pastor of the church, Eddy Owase, in his sermon, said thanksgiving would only be meaningful when the people established a good relationship with God.
In attendance were former governor of the state, James Ibori, Sen. James Manager and Speaker, Delta State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Sheriff Oboreuwori, among others.

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Transport

Transport Company Empowers 25 Drivers With Buses

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A privately-owned transport company, ‘PlentyWaka’, has empowered 25 of its drivers with buses, saying it wants to change the face of commercial transportation in Lagos State with innovative technologically-driven bus transportation system.
The company’s Director, Mr Onyeka Akuma, made this known to newsmen in Lagos, yesterday.
Akuma explained that the ‘Plentywaka’ is a technology bus-driven system that connected the company’s drivers to their buses, while offering comfort, safety and convenience during their daily rides’’.
He said the company recently flagged off PlentyWaka pilot phase in Lagos State, plying Ajah to CMS to announce the transport business model.
Akuma noted that the system was unique in the sense that there was a policy in which the company signed a three-year contract.
He noted that the contract made it possible for about 25 of the company’s drivers to become owners of the buses they drive for the company.
According to Akuma, the drivers will be allowed to own the buses after three years, provided they keep the bus in top notch condition through regular maintenance.
“This transport model is different from other models because while other models are money-oriented alone, we are seeking to empower the drivers and create jobs to stem unemployment in our country.
“We are particular about the values we are creating to society as against making money alone. This makes us unique and different from other technologically-driven transport model.
“Our drivers will be happy that they have been given the opportunity to eventually own brand new vehicles in spite of being paid every month for the operation of the bus.
“This value addition for them is the exciting thing we are bringing on board,’’ he said.
Akuma, said that individuals could cash-in on the development by sponsoring some of the buses.
“With N60,000, you can be a part owner of a bus and get 22 per cent annually on Return on Investments. This is how we get investments for the buses,’’ he said.
Akuma said that the company would continue to connect with the communities where it operates with the planned installation of traffic lights and sign posts in designated areas to improve the transport systems within communities.
PlentyWaka’s Managing Director, Johnny Enagwolor, said the view initiative is the next step for the future of the transport system in Lagos.
“Having access to safe, convenient and accessible transportation options is crucial to reducing bad driving, crashes and possible eventualities.
“What we are trying to eradicate totally is the issue of stress associated with public transport generally”, he said.
Enagwolor said that the company had the support of the major stakeholders in the transport industry such as the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), the Lagos State Transportation Management Authority (LASTMA) and the Police.

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