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Danfo Buses To Carry 8 Passengers, BRT 21 Passengers —– Lagos Govt Announces Transportation Guidelines As State Eases Lockdown

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As part of the continuous effort to curb the spread of the deadly Coronavirus in the state, the Lagos State Government has warned operators of various mechanic workshops to prevent security breaches in their environment, ensure that all abandoned vehicles within their premises are evacuated within the next one week and keep their surroundings clean.

The government warned that it would, through its Committee on the abandoned vehicles, enter any workshop that fails to comply and tow the vehicles away.

Giving the new rules to transporters as the partial ease of the lockdown by the Federal Government in Lagos, Ogun, and Abuja commence on Monday, May 4th, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, said the new guidelines were proactive measures put in place by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to curtail a possible spread of the deadly virus among the commuting public through transportation activities when gradual ease of the lockdown commences.

Oladeinde explained that effective from Monday, 4th of May, all commercial and commuter operations within Lagos shall be between the hours of 6 am and 7 pm daily, asserting that it is mandatory for all commuters to wear nose covers, wash their hands with soap under running water and, thereafter, use alcohol-based sanitizers before and after each trip.

Announcing the immediate suspension of all inter-State operations and movements, the Commissioner mentioned that the decision was taken to effectively manage and control movement within the metropolis while measuring the level of success achieved with various strategies adopted by the State Government to control further spread of COVID-19.

He affirmed that the use of motorcycles, popularly called Okada, for commercial activities would not support the physical distancing rule as directed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), pointing out, therefore, that Okada operations are disallowed in any part of Lagos State at this period.

While warning public transport operators against any activity capable of undermining government efforts at eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic, Oladeinde disclosed that all transport operators and companies must compulsorily and regularly disinfect their vehicles, parks and garages while they are expected to collaborate with the State Ministry of Environment and Water Resources on the standard of disinfectants approved by the State Government for use.

He also warned all commercial passenger vehicles not to exceed 60 per cent of their capacity at this crucial time, while physical distancing rule must be obeyed both at the parks and in the buses, maintaining that Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Lagos Bus Services Ltd (LBSL) must not convey more than 21 passengers, must not permit standing in their buses and should keep the air-conditioning systems switched off always.

“In the same vein, yellow buses, popularly called ‘Danfo’, must not carry more than eight passengers (two on a row), tricycles are to carry just two passengers at the back, while private car owners must also observe the physical distancing,” Oladeinde stated.

Speaking on the activities of transporters involved in the disposal of medical wastes used at COVID-19 isolation centers, the Commissioner insisted that waste handlers must always wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), dispose non-reusable ones and wash reusable ones immediately after each use.

In his remarks, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Toyin Fayinka, stated that enforcement of the new transportation guidelines will commence on Monday, 4th of May, 2020, urging motorists to obey the guidelines to avoid encounters with the Special Task Force made up of the Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Vehicle Inspection Service (VIS), as well as Abandoned Vehicles and Parks Monitoring Committees.

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Aides Of VIPs, Politicians To Be Barred From Airports —- FG

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Aides of Very Important Persons (VIPs) and politicians without business traveling will no longer be allowed to enter the airports when domestic flights would resume, Aviation minister Hadi Sirika said on Thursday.

Sirika spoke at an interactive session with members of the Senate Committee on Aviation while responding to questions on protocols put in place to stop further spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister said: “We have circulated this information and Mr. President has approved it.

“All those who have no business traveling will certainly have no business to enter the airport. They will not enter the airport, not at all.

“So, anybody coming into the airport this time around as a personality, a minister or even our honourable members, distinguished senators, will not be carrying their aides into the airports any longer.

“We will provide for all their security for the VIPs and the VIP will get in and travel.

“So the VIPs should help us and take responsibility and ensure that they don’t add to our problems in this country.”

Sirika said the Abuja and Lagos airports would resume domestic operations on July 8, as Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri, and Maiduguri would resume on July 11, while other airports would resume on July 15.

The minister said the airport authorities were committed to ensuring the provision of necessary safety protocols of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

“There is nothing like rush hour. People have to stay safe before anything happens.

“So, I’m sure that as civil aviation, we are responsible to ensure that everybody remains safe.

“There should be no fear, no panic, the industry is highly regulated. It is one aviation and I’m sure that you have seen from what we have been doing lately.

“We have been following international conventions and practices.

“So, this will not be different, there is nothing to panic about, we will ensure physical distancing when required.”

If the social distancing protocol would result in the reduction of the boarding capacity of an aircraft in terms of the number of passengers, Sirika said: “No, we didn’t say so.

“Bear in mind that most of the flights are not always full. That is number one.

“Number two, I said to you that we are working with the airlines to come up with the protocols before we open. That will be unveiled to you in due course.”

He also assured the Senate committee members that there would not be an issue with the payment of worker’s salaries in the sector.

If the effect of COVID-19 will affect the price of ticketing, he noted that “Price is not in my hands.

“But like I said from what we have put in place, I do not think that anything significant will happen to affect the propensity to fly.”

On the safety of the aircraft for flight operations the Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Nuhu Musa, said that immediately the airlines stopped flying NCAA gave them guidelines.

“What is called storage maintenance for them to comply with to ensure that their aircraft are properly stowed and in good condition when ready to fly.

“Despite the guidelines, we also check the aircraft before resuming operations.

“Our inspectors are going there to cross-check what the airlines have put in their checklist.

“We are, however, not taking them for what they said. We are physically verifying the true state of their aircraft.”

He said NCAA would not approve any airline or service provider to begin flight operations “until it fulfills and complies with every international guideline and protocols provided by the international civil aviation authority”.

Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Smart Adeyemi (APC-Kogi), said the interactive session was designed to find out steps being taken by the ministry and aviation authorities to ensure the safety of passengers as the airports reopened.

He also said the meeting was also meant to get details on the demands of aviation workers who had earlier complained of non-payment of their salary.

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Elated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Christened Grandson BAT Jnr

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The current situation of things all over the world failed to take the shine off the christening of Seyi and Layal Tinubu’s newborn son, though the newborn grand-parents could not come physically to the naming ceremony due to the pandemic induced traveling ban, they were virtually present, as they all imputed their own choice of name for the baby.

Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu Named the baby Bolatito, after himself and the rest of the names are Ayyan, Tobias, Jidenna, Oluwaseyifunmi, James, Akanbi Tinubu.

According to a source present on the online christening, the astute politician was full of joy as he gladly proclaimed that the latest addition to his family will now be answering to his own revered initials B. A. T which stands for Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Meanwhile, a very happy Seyi was full of thanks to God for the safe delivery and full of admiration for his darling wife who he explained carry and nurture their bundle of joy safely for 9 months and keep him safe even during the global pandemic and is also taking care of the elder sister even when he was not physically present.

Since the birth was announced last week, congratulatory messages have been trooping in from different people and nations.

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Police Arrest Chinese Couple Who Locked Up Eight Nigerian Domestic Employees For Four Months In Abuja [PHOTOS]

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The police have arrested a Chinese couple in Abuja for allegedly locking up their Nigerians employees in their apartment for the past four months.

Eight domestic workers were rescued by the personnel of the Utako Divisional Police Station on Tuesday following a tip-off by a resident, who reported the incident to the Human Rights radio station.

The police raided the residence of the Chinese in the Jabi area of Abuja and took the unidentified couple and their domestic employees to the station.

In footage provided by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, the victims said they had been locked up in the apartment since February.

A lady, who did not give her name, said the domestic workers were not allowed to move out of the building and that the couple refused to allow her to go for treatment when she took ill.

She stated, “When I was seriously sick, I asked these people (Chinese employers) to open the gate for me, but they refused until I became very angry before they opened the door. I know my life may be at risk but I don’t mind, let the world know what is happening.

“They told us that if someone was going out, he could help buy something for us, but when this man (referring to a colleague) went out to buy sachet water, they deducted his salary. What do they want us to do?

“We had to stay in the room and talk to people through the windows. They didn’t give us food; apart from the salary, they didn’t give us anything; they even cut our salaries.”

The driver of the Chinese, who simply identified himself as Alex, said he and the seven others had been working against their will for the couple since the outbreak of COVID-19 in February.

Alex stated, “They never allowed us to go out since February; if any of us went out and they know, a certain percentage of the person’s salary would be deducted.

“Even on Monday when this man (pointing at one of his co-workers) sent someone to buy water, N500 was deducted from his salary that has yet to be paid.”

Another worker said the couple deducted N3,000 from his salary because he went out to fill his pension form.

But sources told PUNCH Metro on Thursday that the workers were refusing to cooperate with the police, adding that when they got to the station, they claimed that they were not forcefully detained by their employers.

“We were surprised by the refusal of the Nigerians to narrate the details of their ordeal to the police. All of them claimed that they chose to stay with the Chinese couple without coercion, but that was not the information that prompted our visit to the apartment. From the look of things, there may be more to what they are telling us,” a police source said.

The spokesman, Federal Capital Territory Police Command, DSP Anjuguri Manzah, confirmed the incident, noting that investigation had commenced.

He said the Chinese couple had been released on bail.

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