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FG To Shutdown Third Mainland Bridge For 72 Hours From Xmas Day, Partially Close Lagos-Ibadan Expressway For 2 Days

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The Federal Controller of Works Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola on Tuesday announced a 72-hour total closure of the Third Mainland Bridge to cast concrete on the expansion joints.

Popoola told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the shutdown will take effect from midnight on Saturday to midnight on Tuesday.

He added that construction works had reached the stage for casting concrete on additional three expansion joints.

“There is going to be a total closure of Third Mainland Bridge in order to allow for the casting of three number expansion joints on the Island Bound lane

” The effective date of the closure will be from 12:00 midnight of 25th of December. So people will be allowed to use the Third Mainland Bridge to celebrate Christmas.

“By the time the Christmas is winding down which is 12:00 midnight, we are going to close it so that we will be able to cast the concrete on Saturday the 26th and 27th we cast again.

” And we need about 72 hours for this concrete to set. Therefore, the opening will be on the 28th December at midnight, which is a 72-hour closure.

“This is to prevent vibration of the bridge. If we allow vehicles to be moving on one lane, there are going to be vibrations and the concrete will not set properly,” he said.

The controller said that all the alternative routes were in good condition and traffic regulatory agencies had been deployed to effectively divert and manage traffic to avert gridlock.

He appealed to road users to cooperate with traffic regulatory agencies.

Popoola also announced a 48 hours partial closure of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

from Dec. 28 to Dec. 29 to complete some work on a flyover bridge on the project.

“The contractor, Messers Julius Berger wants to install cross beams at Kilometre 16, that is, around MFM,” he said.

He explained that the Piers were already standing on both sides of the road and the contractor was to lay the cross beam on top across the road.

“That area will be cordoned off, there will be closure within that section from 12:00 pm on 28th of December and it will be opened to traffic by 5:00 am the following day.

” 200 meters to get to that particular location we have diversion and another diversion 200 meters away from that place.

“One lane will be opened to traffic, it is only one lane we are closing to traffic at a time. The first lane that we are going to close is outward Lagos, which is the Ibadan bound carriageway, we will close it on the 28th.

” And then the second day which is 29th, we are moving to the other lane which in inward Lagos. The same 12:00 pm to 5:00 am,” Popoola said.

He appealed for patience and understanding of road users saying that the construction was part of the progress that the Federal Government had achieved on the project.

“We regret all the inconvenience and hardship this might have created,” he said.

He said that all the construction zones had been cleared and the highway had been opened to traffic which was responsible for seamless movement on the road.

NAN reports that the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, which was going through a series of repairs, had to be partially shut on July 24 for another round of rehabilitation works.

The repair expected to last six months was extended by one month due to the recent #EndSARS protests in Lagos extending the completion date from January 2021 to February.

The construction was initially divided into two phases of three months on each carriageway, starting with the Oworonsoki bound carriageway whose completion dragged to four months.

Traffic was partially diverted on a stretch of 3.5km where construction is ongoing between Adeniji Adeniji Ramp and Ebute Meta, while different time belts were allotted for traffic diversions on the bridge.
The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.

The bridge starts from Oworonshoki, which is linked to the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and ends at the Adeniji Adele Interchange on Lagos Island.

Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged as the longest in Africa until 1996 when the Oct. 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed.

The reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, on the other hand, was flagged off in 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan and was awarded to two firms.

Julius Berger is constructing section one which spans from Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu Interchange while RCC is working from the Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan.

BIG STORY

BREAKING: Ex-Minister Aisha Al-Hassan ‘Mama Taraba’ Is Dead

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Aisha Jummai Al-Hassan, popularly known as Mama Taraba is dead.

She died at 61.

Alhassan reportedly died from an unknown illness.

She was a member of the All Progressives Congress (APC) before defecting to the United Democratic Party (UDP) in September 2018.

She decamped after resigning from the Buhari administration.

Details Later…

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Oil License: Reps Issue 14 Days Ultimatum To NNPC, Threatens To Summon Buhari

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The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Upstream) has given the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) 14 days ultimatum to appear before it. Should the NNPC fail to appear, the committee said, it will summon the Minister of Petroleum, President Muhammadu Buhari.

According to Premium Times, The committee is investigating the revocation and reversal order on the operating licenses of OML 123, 124, 126, and 137.

The oil assets have been the subject of dispute between Chinese-owned oil companies and the federal government. The dispute led to the revocation and restoration of the mining licenses by the Buhari administration.

On Thursday, NNPC, Addax Petroleum Exploration Nigeria Ltd, Kaztech Engineering Ltd, and Salvic Petroleum Resources Ltd all failed to appear before the committee. However, the Minister of Petroleum (State), Timipriye Sylva, and the Director of Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Sarki Auwalu, appeared before the committee.

Myrki Adar (APC, Sokoto), the chairman of the committee, issued the ultimatum and expressed readiness to summon the president if the Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari, should fail to appear before the panel.

He disclosed that the NNPC sent a letter to the committee that the matter was at the Supreme Court. However, Mr Sylva disputed the claim that the matter was in court.

While issuing the ultimatum, Mr Adar said the panel will not hesitate to summon the president, since he is the petroleum minister.

“Our message to all those that fail to appear before us as invited namely the NNPC, Addax petroleum company limited, Kaztech engineering ltd and Salvic petroleum resources limited.

“We are giving them two weeks from today. We would reschedule this meeting from now to two weeks to appear before this committee and continue our business.

“Unless they want us to invite President Muhammadu Buhari as minister of petroleum. If they do not come, we will not hesitate. Buhari is a minister. He appointed himself, approved by the parliament and he is doing his job. We would invite him. And I know as a law-abiding president he would come. If he comes, Nigerians should know that it is the failure of the NNPC to come that led him to appear before us.”

Background

On April 6, the DPR revoked four oil assets belonging to Addax, now owned by Sinopec, a Chinese state oil company.

A presidential panel headed by a former senator, Magnus Abe, had accused the oil company of “economic wastages.”

The DPR revoked the four Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) citing the inability of the firm to comply with agreed terms.

The assets were re-awarded to two indigenous companies; Kaztec Engineering Limited/Salvic Petroleum Resources Limited (KEL/Salvic) Consortium.

Less than two weeks later, the federal government in a statement by the spokesperson to the President, Garba Shehu, restored the mining right of OMLs 123, 124, 126, and 137 to the NNPC which has a Production Sharing Contract with Addax Petroleum; thus reversing its operations back to Addax.

Aborted motion
Last week, a motion to investigate the matter was listed on the Order Paper of the House.

The motion was in the name of Nicholas Ossai (PDP, Delta). However, the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, asked the motion to be stepped down.

The motion was stepped down and not considered by the House.

Minister Speaks

On Thursday, Mr Sylva said the NNPC wrote a counter-memo against his memo on the Addax assets. He added that he is yet to recognize the restoration order issued by NNPC.

“I wrote a memo to Mr President and it was approved, and NNPC wrote another memo against my memo.

“Having said that, the issue at hand is that no law was breached at all as far as Addax affairs are concerned. I am also not aware of any matter at the Supreme Court on this particular matter. I have just consulted the director of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) who also told me that he is not aware.

“The matter of Addax was not commenced by me, this asset has been sub-optimally managed from the beginning of the acquisition to this moment, it has not been optimally operated.

“When Sinopec group acquired this asset from Addax, production was 130,000 barrel per day, as at today, we struggle to produce 35,000 barrel per day, from this asset, because there are no new investments, and the asset has progressively declined. We believe that with the requisite investment, we would have probably taken the asset to beyond 130,000 barrels per day.

“Obviously, there was an issue of mismanagement of the asset. Now, in the wisdom of the attorney general of the federation, he wrote to the president to say that this asset has not been properly managed. The letter was forwarded to me by Mr President for me to review,” he said.

He added that “NNPC is not in a position to withdraw a revocation or advise the withdrawal or revocation.”

President Buhari is the substantive minister for petroleum and has been since 2015. However, back in December 2020, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, had said that the National Assembly cannot summon the President.

 

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Probe Begins Monday As FG Suspends NPA Managing Director, Bala-Usman

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The President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), has suspended the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala-Usman, sources familiar with the development said on Thursday.

It was learnt that a panel of inquiry had been constituted to look into the matter that prompted her suspension, as well as other concerns. The panel begins its work on Monday.

It was, however, not clear what necessitated the suspension of the NPA boss, who was only reappointed in January this year by Buhari.

Senior staff members of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the parent ministry of the authority, confirmed the development but insisted that there was no official statement on the matter yet.

The spokesperson of the ministry, Eric Ojiekwe, could not be reached for comments on the development, as he did not answer calls when contacted on Thursday night.

Bala-Usman was first appointed as the managing director of the NPA in 2016 and was reappointed in January this year for another five years.

On Wednesday, the suspended NPA boss led her organization to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian Ports Authority to commence the production of statistical information and data analytics on port-related activities..

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