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The National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) has assured commuters that it would not increase transport fare in spite of the tolls review by Lekki Concession Company (LCC).

Alhaji Taofeek Oluwa, its Chairman in Jakande, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos State, gave the assurance on Wednesday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that LCC had recently announced its plan to review to upward the tolls for different categories of motorists plying Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe Expressway with effect from Feb.1.

Oluwa said that the development would not affect transport fares in the corridor.

“Following the announcement of the toll review at the Admiralty Circle Plaza and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Plaza by the Lekki Concession Company, LCC, there will be no fare increase,’’ he said.

The NURTW chief said that the union was duly carried along by LCC, as one of the critical stakeholders during the engagement process for the toll review.

“It is encouraging that LCC carried the union along as one of the critical stakeholders consulted during the engagement process for the toll review which resulted in the minimal increase in tariff charged the branded commercial buses.

“From Feb.1, branded commercial buses popularly called “Danfo’’ which previously paid N80.00 would be paying N90 (Ninety Naira) for e-Tag payments and N100 (One Hundred) for cash payments.

“As long as LCC honours its agreement of our mutual understanding at the stakeholders’ meeting, we can confidently support LCC.

“We assure the commuters that they will not suffer any increase in the fare paid to board the branded commercial buses coming into or going out of Eti-Osa/Lekki-Epe Expressway.

“The NURTW is happy to endorse the toll fare review,” Oluwa said.

Another NURTW official in the area, Alhaji Quadri Adesokan, said that LCC had promised to improve the standards of the roads for the safety of passengers.

“We have heard the concerns of LCC and have agreed to support them because they have promised to maintain the roads.

“A large number of our buses are using the e-tag which affords us unhindered entry and return from Lekki-Epe Expressway,” Adesokan added.

NAN reports that LCC said it had been managing the operations of the roads for the past 10 years in spite of the yearly increase of the cost of operations and other relevant expenses without toll review.

According to it, LCC provides various other services to road users, especially as it relates to their convenience such as the 24/7 free vehicle breakdown and recovery services by the Company’s Route and Incident Management team.

The company said it equally provided the dedicated Police Team; the Toll free Customer Service helpline and other services and over 100,000 road users have benefited from the free services.

According to the company, the new Toll Tariffs on Admiralty Circle Plaza for motorcycles is N10; Saloon Cars and Tricycles will pay N200, while those on e-tag payment will pay N180.

The sport utility vehicle toll is N250, while the e-Tag is N225.

Light Trucks and 2-axle buses tariff is now N400, while the e-tag is N360.

The heavy duty trucks/buses with two or more heavy axles will now pay N1000, while those on e-tag is now N900.

On the Ikoyi Link Bridge Plaza, the tariff of motorcycles now is N200, the Saloon Cars will pay N300, while those on
e-tag payment is now N270.

The toll for the Mini-vans, sport utility vehicles and light trucks has increased to N400, while those on e-tag is N360.

Meanwhile, the light trucks and 2-axles buses now are to pay N1, 000 and those on e-tag moved to N900.

(NAN)

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Drama In Kano As Ganduje’s Aide Resigns Over Governor’s Refusal To Concede Defeat In Kano Guber Race

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Alhaji Hashim Suleiman, the Senior Special Assistant on Urban Beautification to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, has tendered his letter of resignation to Secretary to the State Government.

In his resignation letter, he attributed his reason to the failure of Governor Ganduje to concede defeat to the Guber candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Engineer Abba Kabir Yusuf, who won the election that has been declared inconclusive in controversial circumstances by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The letter of resignation, dated, Wednesday, March 13, 2019, which he personally signed, reads, ”I write to formally inform you of my voluntary resignation from the office of SSA, Beautification.

“I thank you for offering me the opportunity to serve under your administration as SSA.”

He added that as a transparent Khadimul-Islam, the governor ought to have conceded defeat, so as to serve as a precedent to other Muslims, who serve Allah in truth and sincerity.

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Nembe Creek Well Explosion: More Than Meets The Eye —- By Ayo Fadahunsi

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The predicament that played out on Friday, 1st March 2019, in Bayelsa is indeed a disaster like the others before it in the different parts of the country.

The Mile 1 community and others within earshot were in the wee hours of the morning, reeled off their beds by an explosion said to have come from the Nembe Creek Well 7, belonging to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production.

Within hours of occurrence, stories were churned out with headlines that threw Nigerians into pandemonium.

While both manicured and pruney fingers point at the company with zillion blame for the incident, let’s not ignore the small finger pointing to the accuser. The case of a breach cannot be overruled especially due to past escapades and ensuing crisis and case of militancy in the Niger Delta. 
In a 2018 survey, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the nation recorded 194 cases of pipeline vandalism between January 2017 and the corresponding period of last year. 

It is impossible to overlook vandalism because not only has statistics placed Nigeria at the top of pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering, it has also shown that out of every three explosions in this part of the world, one is a sabotage for economic gains. 

Considering also that according to the company, facilities at the Creek were shut down on 28th of February due to NCTL outage and judging from the point of the explosion which was not from a pipeline but from a flow station in the oil well whose valves were intact, only a third-party infraction could have been responsible. An IOC which stands to lose hundreds of dollars in Aiteo’s new project and one of Nigeria’s banks have been fingered to be behind the incident.

There is also the issue of yellow journalism to decry. Did scores really die? Just how much of what was published is true? 
First, they put death toll at 100 persons – seriously? Who conducted the census, how did the story find its way to EIN, a paid news wire in less than 24hours? 

Then, International publications latched on to the lie that the NCTL was on fire – what NCTL please? And how is it that New York Times, Daily Mail and Jeune Afrique could stoop to the level of carrying unverified stories? 
Next, they declared 50 persons missing only to turn around and publish a follow up saying missing persons have been found. What search party found them? This is a clear case of lack of professional integrity which is why rather than shamefully admit to have been cleverly used to publish a fake story and retract same, they crafted a different headline to say the latter.  They also said the company did not report the explosion to NOSDRA and appropriate authority and accused them of concealing a high level of leakage and a gas explosion at their facility at Nembe Creek. 

When that failed, they said Aiteo prevented NOSDRA from accessing the incident scene. This chain of lies cascading in the guise of media reports are barely intelligible rhythms with staccato aphorisms. 

Aiteo’s official statement debunked the stories peddled: “Preliminary investigations confirm that there were no fatalities; human incidents or damage to community property. All the wells and facilities in the immediate vicinity have been inspected and secured. This incident did not occur at or involve any part of the NCTL or other pipelines. It is important to note that prior to this incident, all facilities have been shut down since 28 of February 2019 due to NCTL outage.

Accordingly, any account suggesting that this incident arose from or affected any pipelines is wholly inaccurate and misleading.”Contrary to the ugly and destructive lies, available documents of the notification of spill reported that NOSDRA, NAPIMS, and DPR were informed and ipso facto, the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) will Thursday, 7th March, visit the scene of the event. Pipelines are expected to be open immediately after.

Also, a picture sighted saw the wellhead intact except for an external slash on one of the linking pipes to the wellhead. Anyone who saw the puncture would agree that there was a breach. If this is not an act of willful sabotage, an act that will have catastrophic effects on everyone, mostly the poor people of Nembe community, then, I wonder what it is. 

Further, the story about Aiteo denying NOSDRA access to the facility, just like others, is a publication targeted at dragging the company’s image to the mud. Judging from an angle of corrupt practices that has bedevilled the country, we can understand that a hungry and dishonest journalist is given cash in exchange for a self-serving story; we can understand that a hare-brained journalist writes reports without first verifying its authenticity, and we can understand that when something of this nature happens, it is the company that gets the first blame. But what cannot be comprehended is why a government agency would effortlessly relay information soiled with dishonesty to the media.

It makes no sense that a government agency would be denied access to a property that also belongs to the government; it is in fact, a campaign harangue with meaningless underpinning. Edification is not needed to realize the deliberate falsehood being peddled here or the creating and withdrawing sensation targeted at heating up the polity. 

When unverified facts and baseless stories are published, if it is not to mislead the public, it is to drive the country into the realm of a reality show conspiracy and when better to do this if not now that the country is starting a new dispensation. Some publications even hinted that the incident is going to affect production with the loss of 2500 barrels of oil that Well 7 produces per day. Exactly what kind of effect will a minuscule 2500 bpd have on a country that produces 2.5million bpd

People need to wake up and realize the real lies in these stories flying around. This is simply a case of cash for stories with the sole aim of discrediting the company because from every indication, the stories are all traceable to one source.

Fadahunsi writes from Ekiti State 

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29-year-old Man Butchers His 99-year-old Aunt For ‘Changing’ His Baba Ijebu Winning Numbers

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A 29-year-old man, Owolabi Folorunso Adewale, has allegedly admitted killing her 99-year old aunty, whom he accused of using her spiritual power to change his Baba Ijebu lotto winning number.

The suspect, who was arrested by operatives of the Ogun State police command, allegedly committed the crime at Maraisa Lane, Igan road in Ago-Iwoye area of the State.

According to a statement signed and issued yesterday by the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Abimbola Oyeyemi, his arrest followed a distress call received by the Divisional Police Officer of Ago-Iwoye Division, CSP Ade Adedoyin.

“On receiving the distress call, the DPO quickly led his detectives to the scene where the suspect was promptly arrested and the cutlass, which he used to wreck the havoc, was also recovered. On interrogation, the suspect admitted killing the old woman with matchet claiming that he had an inclination that the woman was responsible for most of his spiritual problems.

“He stated further that he is a regular player of Baba Ijebu lotto and that whenever he is sure of winning, the deceased who was his father’s elder sister will use her supernatural power to change the winning number.”

Oyeyemi said the body of the deceased has been deposited at the Ijebu-Ode General Hospital mortuary for post mortem examination.

He adding that the Commissioner of Police, CP Ahmed Iliyasu, has directed the Deputy Commissioner of Police State Criminal investigation and intelligence Department, DCP Wale Abass, to take over the case and see to diligent prosecution of the suspect.

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