By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Train services on the Kaduna-Abuja route resumed on Saturday after an attack on the rail line on Wednesday by some yet-to-be-identified persons.
While returning from a trip in Abuja to Kaduna with a former federal lawmaker, Mr Shehu Sani, onboard, an explosion damaged the rail track and forced the train to stop close to its destination.
After the incident, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which manages the facility, announced the suspension of services on the route on Thursday pending when things are put in place.
Today, operations recommenced at the Rigasa Train Station in Kaduna but the turnout of passengers was low as some of them are still sceptical about their safety.
It was gathered that the NRC quickly fixed the damaged portion of the track and put in place measures to prevent a similar incident from happening again.
The rail transport system was almost dead in Nigeria until the present administration of President Muhammadu Buhari embarked on a transformation drive to make it attractive again.
Due to the incessant kidnapping of passengers on the Kaduna-Abuja road by some terrorists, the use of the train as an alternative mode of transport was embraced by Nigerians, including the elites.
However, the incident of Wednesday has put fears in the minds of passengers and this may have caused the low patronage of the train services witnessed today, though some are not aware of the resumption of the Kaduna-Abuja train services by the NRC.
The government has consistently assured citizens that it will not fail to discharge its constitutional responsibility of securing the lives and properties of Nigerians.
Ibadan Tanker Explosion: OYRTMA Issues Traffic Advisory
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA) has advised road users to use alternative routes, while its men and other relevant agencies strive to return normalcy to the route.
This traffic advisory became necessary following an explosion of a petrol-laden tanker along the Agodi area in Ibadan, the state capital.
The Chairman of OYRTMA, Mr Akin Fagbemi, in a statement on Friday, stated that efforts were being made to bring the situation under control.
He stated that “the incident, which resulted to the slagging of powered electric poles and cables dangling across the road, portends danger to motorists plying the route hence, in the interim, the authority has barricaded the way from Total-Garden to Agodi-Gate, Ibadan to enable safety officials of relevant government agencies evacuate the affected vehicles and restore normalcy.”
“Motorists are advised to navigate towards the State Secretariat at the Total-Garden Round-about to link the Government Road towards the Kola Daisi Civic Center inwards Agodi-Gate to Iwo-Road,” he disclosed.
“Alternatively, Motorists could opt for the Premier Hotel road to link the State Secretariat and move as above.
“From Beere to Iwo-Road Motorists are advised to take the Oje-Market to link Agodi-Gate inwards Iwo-Road.
“Another alternative is for motorists to move from the State Secretariat and navigate Ikolaba via the Nigerian Customs Zonal Hq. to get to Iwo-Road, Ibadan,” he further stated.
The agency beseeched commuters to drive carefully around the affected area as its men and officers are working concertedly with relevant agencies to restore normalcy in the shortest time possible.
Coscharis Partners Sterling Bank for Vehicle Finance Scheme
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
A leading auto dealership in Nigeria, Coscharis Motors, has partnered with Sterling Bank Plc to offer a vehicle finance scheme to allow retail and fleet buyers to purchase their choice vehicles through a repayment plan from the bank.
The partnership has also seen that the auto company lists its vehicles on the bank’s Non-Interest Banking Division platform- AltDrive to equally promote e-commerce transactions.
With this, customers are offered an online retail marketplace where vehicular brands sold by Coscharis Motors can be accessed and purchased either through self-funding or credit finance from Sterling Bank.
The Coscharis Group General Manager, Marketing and Corporate Communications, Mr Abiona Babarinde, while commenting on the idea, said that, “We took this strategic decision earlier in the year to collaborate with relevant stakeholder partners to be able to give our numerous discerning customers and prospects alike the soft landing of owning any of our vehicles with ease in terms of providing friendly financial schemes.”
According to him, the repayment pattern can be expanded for up to five years, of which customers can choose between 15 per cent to 30 per cent initial payment.
He said this is coupled with the bank’s friendly interest rate and ease of accessibility to a plethora of car brands to aid customers’ ultimate satisfaction.
“This ultimately gives anyone the capability to purchase any of our brands with more convenient payment terms with any of our partners like the Sterling Bank.
“We started this initiative with one of our sister companies in the group, Coscharis Mobility, representing sixth in Nigeria amongst some other financial institutions while others are in the pipeline to come on board,” Mr Babarinde added.
Ember Months: Makinde Urges Drivers to Drive Cautiously
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has encouraged drivers across the state to be more careful during this last quarter of the year as the vigilance of everyone means safety for all while negligence of anyone portends danger to all.
He said this at the 2021 National Workshop for Proprietors and Training for Instructors of Driving Schools organised by the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).
Mr Makinde promised to consolidate the existing relationship with the agency to reduce accident indexes in the state, particularly during the ember months, noting that the partnership will ensure continuous and adequate training of drivers across the State.
The Governor, who was represented by the Chairman of the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority (OYRTMA), Mr Akin Fagbemi, said the collaboration was necessary at such a time when there are more vehicular movements usually associated with some haste, rush and unacceptable attitude of untrained drivers.
He commended the FRSC on the ongoing Driving School Standardisation Programme (DSSP) aimed at improving driving school operations in Nigeria.
He noted that the programme has developed uniform standards, safety consciousness, professionalism and proficiency in drivers’ education in the State.
Mr Makinde extolled FRSC saying, “the great successes recorded in monitoring and regulating the driving school industry through driver training education which is evident in the reduction of road traffic crashes over the years as a result of improved driver education in recent times.”
The Governor added, “It is also very important to note here, that training of learner and professional drivers must be carried out in accordance with standards enshrined in the driving schools training manual, with all the required training facilities in place, most importantly trainees must undergo all the sessions required for the type of vehicles they intend to learn how to drive and at the end must pass the Compulsory Computer Base Test (CBT) before the National Drivers Licence is issued to them”.
“Through these efforts put in place by the FRSC, Nigeria has been recognized globally by several organizations including the United Nations and other international road safety organizations. Our National Drivers Licence is now recognized and accepted by counties across the globe,” the Governor said.
Stakeholders at the workshop included the Oyo State Commissioner of Police, Director DSS Oyo State Command, Representative of the FRSC Corps Marshal, Representatives of the Comptroller General of Customs, NSCDC among several others.
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