Lagos Screens 3,852 Drivers On Alcohol
Lagos State Governor, Barr. Babatunde Fashola has said that 3,852 commercial drivers had been screened for blood alcohol content, substance abuse, hypertension and diabetes in the past two years.
He made this known at a motor park health and safety awareness campaign programme held at the New Garage Motor Park, Bariga, Lagos, recently.
Our correspondent reports that of the 955 commercial drivers screened at the park, 53 were hypertensive, 10 diabetic, 146 screened for sight, while many tested positive for alcohol and marijuana.
Fashola, represented by his deputy, Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said that the campaign was organised by the state Ministry of Health in conjunction with the Guinness Nigeria Plc.
He said the programme was designed to meet and talk with drivers, members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other relevant workers about responsible alcohol consumption.
“The safety of our drivers, passengers and other road users is a major concern to us. ‘
“We believe that regular talk and meeting with you will help to regulate the consumption of alcohol, particularly while driving,” he said.
Fashola said that the campaign had earlier been held in three motor parks within the metropolis, including Ojota, Oyingbo and Iyana-Ipaja Motor Parks.
He said that of the 884 people screened at Ojota Park, 239 were hypertensive, 86 diabetic, 60 tested positive to cocaine or marijuana, while 287 had excessive blood alcohol level.
“At the Oyingbo Motor Park campaign, 363 people of the 988 screened were hypertensive, 156 diabetic, 59 tested positive to cocaine or marijuana and 50 tested positive to breathalyser.
“At Iyana-Ipaja Park, 162 of 1025 people screened have hypertension, 71 have diabetes, and 103 tested positive to cocaine or marijuana, while 215 have excessive alcohol in their blood system.
“We noticed that perhaps, as a result of the state traffic law, more drivers now abstain from drugs and alcoholic intake before coming for the screening.
“It is important to note that this campaign is all about safety; safety of transport workers, their members and the citizens who patronise them,” the governor said.
Fashola said that government had built Drivers’ Institutes in Epe, Ikorodu, Oshodi, Ikeja and Lagos Island, to train motorists about the techniques, driving methods and habits.
“The most important message I have for you is that you should not drink or abuse drugs while driving,” he said.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said that the programme was initiated to create awareness, especially among commercial drivers, and to reduce road accidents.
Mr Oladele Jolaoso, secretary of New Garage Park, said the programme was a welcome idea, adding that it would sensitise many more people.
Immigration Steps Up Anti-Touting Vigilance
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
Union Urges NIMASA, RSG To Dredge PH/Bonny Jetty
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
Boat Mishaps: Ship Owner Blames Absence Of Safety Regulations
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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