Price Hike: Okada Riders Take Advantage Of Lagos Marathon
otherwise called “Okada’’, on Saturday took advantage of the restriction of vehicular movement on certain roads for the Access Bank Lagos City Marathon to operate on restricted corridors.
The Tide source reports that the Okada riders took advantage of the stranded commuters at bus stops along Ikorodu road to charge exorbitant fares in the metropolis.
Reports had it that between Maryland and National Stadium bus stop in Surulere, they charged as much as N700 and N1,500 for what ordinarily should have been N200 depending on the operator, while between Fadeyi and Maryland or stadium, they collect between N500 and N1000.
People who could not wait till 10 a.m. were the ones who rode on commercial motorcycles, that in most cases carried two persons in violation of traffic law.
Those who could not afford it resorted to trekking long distances.
Some commuters who spoke with reporters said one side of the 10-lane Ikorodu Road would have been left open since the athletes were only using one side.
It was also observed that some people were not aware of the marathon as they were shocked to discover that the roads were empty.
Reports say that the route for the marathon was closed for use to the public from 7 a.m. when the race started, policemen lined the route to forestall breakdown of law and order.
Commuters were seen on the major highways stranded, while some complained of inadequate information about the closure of the affected roads.
However, the heavy presence of the commuters was also attributed to the popular night vigil by the Redeemed Christian Church of God along Lagos-Ibadan expressway which coincided with the timing of the marathon.
Our correspondent reports that many of the commuters looked weary from the all night service.
A civil servant, Tayo Owoseni, coming from the all night service, said the gridlock was unavoidable for many of them.
“We cannot escape it because the timing of the closure clashed with the time we are coming from the Holy Ghost Congress, how can we escape it?
“To get to this point from Lagos-Ibadan expressway took us about one hour but on getting to the Ketu end of the expressway, we were told we cannot go further.
“Government should have provided alternate routes for us,’’ she said.
Kudirat Musibau, a trader at Apongbon market on Lagos Island, claimed ignorance of the restriction order, saying it was a strange development to her.
“I never had anything about this restriction, nobody informed me because I am used to going to market very early and returning late in the night.
“I got to know about the order when I got to Ojota and saw the long queue which initially, I supposed will soon fizzle out.
“I was told later that the roads were barricaded because of the restriction order. So, I will just have to stay until we are released,’’ she said.
Our correspodnent reports that the Ogudu end of the road was opened to users at exactly 10.28 a.m.
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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