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In its determination to ensure free flow of traffic and safety on the road, the Lagos State Government on Wednesday commenced the process of clearing Apapa-Mile 2 axis of illegal parking of tankers and articulated vehicles.

This action, the Government said is aimed at freeing Apapa – Oshodi Expressway of avoidable traffic gridlocks, and making the axis accessible to other road users.

Speaking in Lagos after a visit to the area, the General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Olawale Musa said despite series of meetings the Agency had with the stakeholders on the imperative of freeing Apapa of all traffic impediments, vehicles were still parked on the roads. According to him, no responsible government would fold its arms and allow lawlessness and impunity to reign.

The General Manager stressed that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode administration is alive to its responsibilities and will not shy away from attending to the plight of the people.

According to him, this informed the setting up of a Special Task Force comprising of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Navy, Police, Civil Defence and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) under the Chairmanship of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi to rid Apapa and environ of activities of illegal parking and menace of articulated vehicles.

He expressed optimism that with the creation of the Special Task, support and cooperation of other security Agencies and all stakeholders with LASTMA, issues of illegal parking of vehicles and other lawlessness will soon become a thing of the past.

Musa noted that at the stakeholders meeting held on Friday 17th November, 2017 at the NPA headquarters Marina, activities of articulated vehicles returning empty containers to the Port was identified as the major cause of traffic gridlock in the axis, as many of them had to wait up to ten days to discharge empty containers.

“This made them to park on the main carriageways for days and in the process impeding free flow of traffic. This was largely due to the fact that shipping companies that were supposed to provide holding bays for the empty containers in accordance with the license issued for them to operate in the country have either refused to provide or the ones existing were inadequate. The stakeholders have therefore resorted that henceforth, these vehicles are to use the following holding bays and terminals which includes, Comet Terminal, Joatelim, Ballore Transport and Logistics, HBX Terminal, Unity Bonded Terminal, Falcon Terminal, Port and Marine services and Duncan Terminal for their activities,” Musa said.

The LASTMA boss said the stakeholders also agreed that the all trucks currently loading at the port will be issued a docket indicating where they should return their empty containers instead of waiting ceaselessly on the roads to return them.

Musa assured the residents of Apapa and Lagos State in general that the current effort and exercise to restore sanity and orderliness to Apapa would be a continuous one, warning that anyone who defies government directive not to impede free flow of traffic will be dealt with according to the law.

He therefore enjoined all stakeholders especially the Shipping Council and Shipping Lines to sensitize and educate their members on the new directive.

According to him, “people should stop putting individual interest over and above public interest. Members of the public should also take possession of the already cleared roads, and not hesitate to inform the Agency of any broken down or abandoned tankers and trucks on Apapa – Oshodi Expressway as LASTMA has been empowered and positioned to response promptly to any distress.”

It would be recalled that owners and drivers of articulated vehicles illegally parked on the roads at Apapa and environ have been given up to the Friday, November 24 to remove them from and failure to do so would lead to full enforcement of laws.

BIG STORY

MOHBAD: Late Singer’s Family Conducts Fresh Autopsy

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The family of late singer Mohbad (born Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba) has ordered a second toxicology test to uncover the truth behind his mysterious death on September 12.

Following his burial the next day, Mohbad’s body was exhumed on September 21 for an autopsy, which was conducted on the same day.

However, in May, it was revealed that the pathologist conducting the autopsy informed the coroner that Mohbad’s body had decomposed by the time the test was performed, potentially compromising the results.

The new toxicology test aims to provide clarity on the circumstances surrounding his death.

The pathologist also said the cause of the singer’s death could not be ascertained.

Mohbad’s autopsy result from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) showed that “no significant gross finding” could be attributed to the singer’s death.

The toxicology “revealed the positive finding of Diphenhydramine, an anti-histamine; however, this concentration was not in a fatal or lethal range”.

Last month, the Aloba family rejected the autopsy result while also demanding an independent post-mortem and toxicology test.

In a statement on Tuesday, Monisola Odumosu, a member of Aloba’s legal team, said a two-part autopsy is being conducted on Mohbad.

She disclosed that the first phase had been carried out last week while the second part involved “a toxicology and histology test”.

The lawyer added that the procedure was witnessed by Joseph Aloba, Mohbad’s father, and a pathologist representing Wunmi, the late singer’s wife.

“The second autopsy as requested by the Aloba family and ordered by the Magistrate of the Coroner Court, Ms. T.A. Shotobi, was conducted on Friday, July 19, and Saturday, July 20, 2024. This autopsy is a two-part exercise, with the first part now completed,” the statement reads in part.

“If the cause of death cannot be determined from this initial examination, the second part will proceed, involving a toxicology and histology test on the necessary samples already obtained.

“This comprehensive procedure, conducted last Friday, was witnessed only by Mr. Joseph Aloba, the forensic pathologist appointed by Mr. Joseph Aloba and his team, legal representatives of both Mr. Joseph Aloba and  a pathologist appointed by Wunmi Aloba to observe the procedure.”

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BIG STORY

Nigeria’s Foreign Reserves Now $37bn, Up By $2bn In 18 Days — CBN Governor Cardoso

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The country’s foreign exchange reserves have surged to $37.05 billion as of July 18 according to the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso announced this development during a press briefing on Tuesday, following the 296th Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting in Abuja.

The reserves experienced a significant boost, rising by $2.35 billion from $34.70 billion at the end of June to $37.05 billion in just 18 days.

“As of July 18, 2024, external reserves stood at US$37.05 billion, compared with US$34.70 billion as of June 2024. This represents 11 months of import cover for goods and services,” Cardoso said.

However, according to data published by CBN and seen by TheCable, Nigeria’s foreign reserves stood between $35.93 billion as of July 18, and $36.23 billion as of July 22, less than what Cardoso presented.

On July 18, CBN approved the sale of foreign exchange (FX) to eligible bureau de change (BDC) operators at N1,450 per dollar to meet the demand for invisible transactions.

Days after, CBN said foreign currencies worth $106.5 million were sold to authorised dealers.

CBN said the aim is to improve supply in the FX market in tandem with its price stability mandate.

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BIG STORY

President Tinubu Signs South-East, North-West Development Commission Bills Into Law

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President Bola Tinubu has officially signed into law the South-East and North-West Development Commission bills.

The South-East Development Commission bill was sponsored by Deputy Speaker Benjamin Kalu, who represents the Bende Federal Constituency of Abia State.

After passing through the Senate and House of Representatives, the bill was transmitted to the President in June for his assent.

With the signing of the bill into law, the Commission will now receive funding to execute various projects in the South-East geopolitical zone.

The allocated funds will be used to address environmental challenges such as erosion, as well as reconstruct and rehabilitate roads in Abia, Enugu, Ebonyi, Imo, and Anambra states.

This move is expected to bring significant development and infrastructure improvements to the region.

In a statement issued by Levinus Nwabughiogu, his chief press secretary, Kalu expressed appreciation to the president for signing the bill into law.

The deputy speaker said the commission will “rehabilitate Igbo land” and foster unity among the people.

Tinubu also signed the north-west development commission bill into law.

Jibrin Barau, deputy senate president and sponsor of the bill, said the signing of the proposed legislation is a “testament” to Tinubu’s “commitment to addressing the challenges facing the north-west geopolitical zone and indeed all parts of the country”.

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