Despite concerns raised by motorists and other road users, the Federal Government has said there is no going back on the four-month planned partial closure of sections of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for reconstruction.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mr Adedamola Kuti, said on Sunday the planned partial closure starting from August 3 would not be postponed even with the next month’s Sallah holiday trips and other religious activities that would increase traffic on the road.
According to him, the aim is to complete that portion of the road before Christmas when the traffic is expected to be heavier.
“What we are doing is to finish the project before Christmas when more people will be traveling. We are not closing the road totally; we are providing routes where people will follow and once everyone is patient, everything will go well,” he said.
The Federal Road Safety Corps had last week notified the public that Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, the construction company handling rehabilitation work on Section 1 of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, had given notification of its plan to commence intensive work on the Berger-Kara end of the road on August 3, and would close some sections for four months.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents on Sunday, the Ogun Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Clement Oladele, said the partial closure of the 1.4 kilometres portion of the road had been postponed before and any further delay would affect its delivery date.
“The project is expected to be delivered by 2021 and any further postponement will affect the date,” he said.
He urged motorists to use alternative routes such as the Lagos-Ota-Itori-Abeokuta and Ikorodu-Sagamu roads during the period.
According to Oladele, palliative work is also ongoing under Ogun River Bridge at the popular Kara Cattle Market to help improve traffic flow.
He stated that the FRSC had made plans to deploy more personnel to the area for 24-hour patrol, while the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and other security agencies would be available to help with traffic control.
“Our plan is to make sure we reduce the discomfort that motorists are expected to face. It is a huge challenge to them and to us as enforcement agents as well but we are setting up camp in the area. We are bringing in personnel from other parts of Ogun State and some from Lagos State to help with traffic control,” he said.
Oladele, however, stated that indiscipline might compound the challenges on the road and cautioned motorists to obey traffic rules by reducing their speed to 50 km/hour and avoid driving against traffic.
The General Manager of LASTMA, Mr Wale Musa, said officials of the agency would ensure effective traffic control as well as assist in the evacuation of faulty vehicles.
“Fifty percent of vehicles that break down along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway are evacuated by our officials; so, traffic control won’t be a problem. Although a good portion of the road is in Ogun State and so by law, it is not under our jurisdiction; the part under Lagos will be handled effectively,” he added.
The President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, said the closure would have adverse effects on commuters and cargoes coming in and out of Lagos, and advised that adequate plans for alternative roads should be made.
He said for ease of traffic, the Ikorodu-Sagamu road, a suggested alternative route, should be put in good condition and dedicated to heavy-duty trucks.
The Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Muda Yusuf, while welcoming the rehabilitation of the road, said the government needed to start thinking of constructing a new bypass because of the level of development going on around the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
He said, “All over the world, as cities grow, the road network is increased. The capacity of Nigerian roads has been overstretched and there is a need to increase the number of roads and build byways.
“Even if they complete the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, there will still be the need for a bypass because of the level of development along that axis. People waste a lot of time there as a result.”
A former Chairman, Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, Mr Bola Ogunyele, transport operators appreciated the efforts of the government to provide good road but decried “the avoidable inconveniences and anguish drivers, passengers and road users are subjected to during road repairs and reconstruction.”
He said using the alternative Ikorodu-Sagamu and Epe/Ajah-Ijebu-Ode roads would come with the additional cost such as an increase in the amount of fuel by vehicles and other operation costs as well as travel time.
‘Two COVID Tests In 72 Hours’, New Protocol For Nigeria As UAE Lifts Flight Ban
The Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has released a new protocol directing travellers from Nigeria to undergo COVID-19 tests upon arrival at the airport in the United Arab Emirates.
Flights between both countries have been suspended since March over issues relating to the COVID-19 protocol.
In a press release on Saturday, the middle east country said the new measure is part of its efforts to ease inbound travel restrictions.
Passengers are also expected to have taken a COVID test 48 hours before departure, and have negative results to show for it.
According to the Dubai media office, the protocol will become effective from June 23, 2021.
“Passengers must have received a negative test result for a PCR test taken within 48 hours before departure; UAE citizens exempted,” the new guideline reads.
“Passengers should present a negative PCR test certificate with a 0R Code from labs approved by the Nigerian Government.
“All passengers must undergo a PCR test on arrival at Dubai Airport.
“Transit passengers should comply with entry protocols of final destinations.”
Headed by @sheikhmansoor, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in #Dubai announces updates to Dubai’s travel protocols for inbound passengers from South Africa, Nigeria and India, effective from Wednesday 23 June 2021.https://t.co/Zfma4YWugQ pic.twitter.com/NkhIzaQwzI
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) June 19, 2021
The federal government had been in talks with the authorities of the UAE over the travel protocol put in place against Nigeria in the wake of the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In February, Emirates Airline had directed that travellers taking off from Nigeria must conduct rapid COVID-19 tests before departure, but the federal government had banned outbound Emirates flights for violating the directive of the presidential task force (PTF) on rapid antigen tests.
The ban was lifted after the airline agreed to stop the rapid antigen tests. It was later reintroduced on March 15, with the federal government explaining that the airline had continued to conduct rapid antigen tests for passengers before departure from Nigeria.
Thereafter, in March, the UAE embassy in Abuja announced a new COVID-19 travel protocol for Nigeria as part of measures to curtail the spread of the virus in the country.
Passengers who had been in or transited through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days before travelling to Dubai were barred from entering the middle east country.
Arewa vs IPOB: Northern Youths Reports Irokotv App On Play Store After Google Removed Adamu Garba’s Crowwe App
After several Northern youths targeted Jason Njoku’s Irokotv app on Playstore in retribution for the removal of Adamu Garba’s Crowwe app, a Nigerian man contacted the company’s owner, Jason Njoku.
This happened just days after Google banned Adamu Garba’s Crowwe App due to a copyright infringement by the social media company.
Remember that Adamu Garba, the CEO of Crowwe App, backed the suspension of Twitter’s operations in Nigeria following the federation’s ban on the social media platform.
He also made fun of Twitter, advising Nigerians to use his own social media app instead. However, numerous Nigerians complained and gave his app negative reviews, prompting its removal.
In revenge for Crowwe’s expulsion, Northern youths have mobilized to begin reporting Igbo-owned mobile apps. Jason Njoku’s iRokoTV and Softtalk messaging are among the apps listed.
Obasanjo Contributed To Nigeria’s Crisis, He Should Mind His Utterances —– Femi Adesina
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, says former President Olusegun Obasanjo contributed to the current chaos in the country, adding that the ex-military general should mind his utterances.
He stated this on Friday in a piece titled, ‘Nigeria’s Unity And All The Iberiberism’.
Adesina wrote, “The saber-rattling about Nigeria’s unity and the possibility of disintegration has got to the point of Iberiberism (an Igbo word which could mean stupidity). Some people have no other business than doomsday predictions of a crumbled, collapsed Nigeria, as if they actually fast and pray for that eventuality.
“When Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was President between 1999 and 2007, they predicted that he was going to be the last President of a united Nigeria. It didn’t happen. When Umaru Yar’Adua came, they said he was too sick to hold Nigeria together. The country stood.
“Under Goodluck Jonathan, they said the man was too weak, and different components of the country would soon say, ‘to your tents oh Israel.’ Nigeria survived. And for six years under Muhammadu Buhari, they have not changed their songs. The Somaliasation of Nigeria was on the way. The Fulanisation of the country would be the final death knell. But Nigeria lives. It trudges on from day to day, month to month, and will surely survive.”
Adesina said though some people dwell on negativity, “some fathers of the land will not fold their hands and see Nigeria go down”.
“Fortunately, we have one of them as President now. The young Muhammadu Buhari spent 30 months in the frontlines as a young army officer, fighting the war of unity. And he has said it: we will not be around and watch Nigeria go down. Never. We will rather speak to insurrectionists in the language they understand.
“And what of Olusegun Obasanjo, a civil war hero. Despite all that he has contributed to the current upheavals by his actions and inactions, words, and bile, he says it is idiotic to wish Nigeria disintegration now. Good. But let us put our money where our mouth is. Let Baba mind his thoughts, and his language,” the presidential spokesman added.
“Nigeria will survive. The polity will endure. And the component parts will live together in amity and brotherhood. Any other option is Iberiberism,” he concluded.
Obasanjo, a military head of state from February 1976 to September 1979, was Nigeria’s democratically elected president between May 1999 and May 2007.