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Saboteurs Responsible for Apapa Gridlock—Opeifa

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Apapa traffic gridlock

By Adedapo Adesanya

There are strong indications that the gridlock being experienced in the Apapa axis of Lagos State will not see any improvement this year.

This is because the Presidential Task Team (PTT) on the Restoration of Law and Order has faulted stakeholders for sabotaging its efforts.

The Vice-Chairman of PTT, Mr Kayode Opeifa, declared recently that his team has no control over the delay in transit ranging from three to six weeks for trucks to reach the ports from Mile-2, a distance of about 10 kilometres.

Mr Opeifa, during a media tour of the Apapa port environment, said the inefficiency and lack of proper coordination among stakeholders were the major issues affecting port and traffic in Apapa and its environ.

“There is no problem on this axis of Apapa, what we have are issues. Some of the issues are that the construction is ongoing but a lot of transporters don’t have the information which their agencies, authorities owe them. They need to inform their clients and find a way to inform the public.

‘‘This is because a lot of people are taking advantage of the happenings to extort their principals, drivers exploiting the managers, managers exploiting the shippers, shippers exploiting me and you.

“So, there is a need for information for the public to understand what’s going on here. Then the stakeholders should take ownership of the place.

“Terminal operators should be interested in how people access their terminals and not just attending to whoever they see.

“Transporter should be interested in the welfare of the drivers.

‘‘The port management needs to be concerned with all the issues because somebody needs to tell them when the road will be closed and when they need to come, our job in PTT is to maintain the law and order by ensuring that only those who are asked to come are allowed to move on the road.

“Unfortunately, we are at the receiving ends; everyone thinks we are the one deciding. No, we are not, we only carry out order restoration based on the directives of the operation of the port. But when that operation of the port has efficiency issue, it is a problem to the entire system.

“The contractor needs to gain access to certain places to do its work, the earlier the contractor gains access to where he needs to work, the better for the operation of the port. These are the issues.

‘‘However, the ports must keep working too. We need the port managers to be more responsive in the overall scheme of things.

‘‘We believe in few months’ time the Apapa area will take better shape for movements and port activities, much more orderliness would be restored.’’

Speaking on the transit park for trucks, Mr Opeifa stated, “Regardless of restriction from the construction site, from Mile 2 to major parts along the corridor, you can see you no longer see trucks from Mile 2 to Oshodi, and once the truck moves inside here, (Berger, Coconut area), they feel more relaxed in the port corridor.

“We have no control over how many hours they will spend before getting into the port which depends on port operations. If not for the construction work going on, the movement into the port should be faster. Many of the trucks you see don’t have any business at the port and if you ask them, they don’t even know they are not supposed to be on the road.

“We were sent by the Presidency to restore law and order and we have honestly, achieved that to a large extent. What I’d needed at the ports now is the efficiency in all operations and there is a need for a proper definition of those who supposed to be at the port and not.

“Most of the issues around here comes from one or two terminals out of 15 terminals. So those who are charged with the responsibility of regulating the port should be at their best efficiency,” Mr Opeifa said.

Giving input on the construction timeline, the PTT Vice Chairman noted that the contractor has done a fantastic work so far with the target to complete work between November and December 2020.

He explained, “Our job is to work pending the introduction of electronic call-up system, earlier scheduled to commence on August 1, 2019, but a year after, we are not there yet.

“We believe by the time the road is completed and electronic call-up system commences, in December 2020, 80 per cent of restoration of order would have been achieved and we will see less of human disorderliness. Digitalization will replace operations and we have to deal with fewer issues.”

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Oyo to Register Commercial Motorcycle Riders, Capture Fingerprints, Others

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commercial motorcycle riders

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Very soon, commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State will require identification numbers and registration jackets to ply their trades in the state.

This is part of efforts to curb every form of criminality and other social vices and regulate the activities of commercial motorcyclists to also prevent the breakdown of law and order.

Business Post gathered that the registration will require each commercial bike rider’s name, address, fingerprint, passport-sized photograph, and a unique ID number.

At a stakeholders’ meeting with over 100 commercial riders’ association leaders in Ibadan on Thursday, the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Musibau Babatunde, said the registration is part of the Oyo State government’s drive to ensure the effectiveness of the ongoing state-wide residents’ registration programme, saying the exercise will help in planning properly for the security architecture of the state, in the long-run.

“States across the south-west have been banning operations of commercial motorcyclists, but we know that will have its own socio-economic challenges. So rather than banning them, we felt it is pertinent to know the number of bike riders in the State and use that for our security architecture,” he said.

The Commissioner added that there are multi-dimensional benefits accruable to the registration exercise, both for the motorcyclists and the state, in terms of security and economic planning.

Also, his counterpart in the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, explained that the registration will help regulate the influx of commercial motorcyclists into the state.

Mr Olatubosun emphasised that the registration will be free, adding that the proactive approach to regulating the activities of commercial motorcyclists by Governor Seyi Makinde-led administration will prevent the breakdown of law and order.

“We will set up a task force consisting of both the union and other relevant agencies that will make sure that unregistered riders don’t operate within the state,” he said.

On his part, the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT and e-Governance, Mr Bayo Akande, said that the registration process was initiated by the state government to distinguish every rider operating in the state.

“Actually, registration exercises had commenced months back at every Local government and office of the Oyo State Road Transport Management Authority. All is now set to provide numbered jackets, in order to identify riders who are duly registered with the state,” the Governor’s aide said.

He said part of the dividends of the registration is the provision of health insurance and other palliatives for riders in the state.

Responding on behalf of the Okada riders, Mr Yusuf Muritala, commended Governor Makinde for not considering a ban on their activities, assuring that his colleagues are ready to cooperate with the state government to register.

He, therefore, expressed the readiness of the commercial motorcycle riders in Oyo State to abide by the rules and regulations established by the government to regulate the activities of their operations, pledging the support of all motorcyclist associations in the state to the government.

However, Mr Muritala appealed to the consultant in charge of the registration exercise to work with leaders in each zone to ensure an expansion of registration points for commercial motorcyclists.

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Lagos to Crush 250 Commercial, Power Bikes

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power bikes

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

About 250 commercial and power bikes have been seized by the Lagos State Taskforce for various violations and would be crushed this weekend at the taskforce crushing site in Alausa, Ikeja.

This was disclosed by the chairman of the taskforce, Mr Shola Jejeloye, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP), during a visit to the headquarters of the agency in Bolade Oshodi.

Mr Jejeloye said despite the focus on commercial motorcycles, popularly known as ‘Okada’, the State Transport Sector reform laws prohibit motorbikes of any capacity from plying one-way.

According to him, power bikes and motorcycles with capacity above the required standard were confiscated for either driving against traffic (one-way), conveying passengers or plying BRT corridors across the State.

“Riding a power bike does not make you immune to traffic laws of the state, especially when it has to do with riding against traffic on one-way, which is highly dangerous to road users and even pedestrians.

“Any motorbike violating the State traffic laws will be met with the same level of punishment as the Okada riders,” he stated.

The Chairman further disclosed that dispatch riders who have seized the opportunity of the absence of Okada on the highways to transport commuters on their bikes would also have their motorbikes impounded.

He urged all dispatch and delivery bike owners to warn their riders to desist from lifting passengers or risk forfeiting the bikes to the state government, stressing that anyone caught contravening the traffic laws of the State will not be spared.

The police officer used the occasion to reiterate the commitment of the taskforce to enforce the ban on the activities of commercial motorcycle operators in six local governments and nine local council development areas of the state by expanding its tentacles to power bikes and dispatch riders who violate the Traffic Law.

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Union Bank Rejigs Board as Titan Trust Bank Takes Full Control

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Union Bank of Nigeria New Logo

By Dipo Olowookere

An old generation lender, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, has announced a significant change to the composition of its board of directors following the transfer of 93.41 per cent of the bank’s issued share capital to Titan Trust Bank Limited.

In a statement, Union Bank said 10 board members of the company have retired to pave a way for nominees of the new owners.

The Chairman of the firm, Mrs Beatrice Hamza Bassey as well as the chief executive officer, Mr Emeka Okonkwo, will no longer be on the board with effect from Thursday, June 2, 2022.

Mr Okonkwo, who implemented the bank’s new strategy focused on regional coverage and continued the growth trajectory, has expressed his desire to support the new CEO and core investor.

Others who retire from the board include Mrs Obafunke Alade-Adeyefa, an independent non-executive director; Mr Richard Burrett, a non-executive director; Mr Ian Clyne, a non-executive director; Mr Kenroy Dowers, a non-executive director; Mr Paul Kokoricha, a non-executive director, Mr Taimoor Labib, a non-executive director; Mr Mark Patterson, a non-executive director; and Mr Emeka Ogbechie, a non-executive director.

It was gathered that the bank has appointed Mr Mudassir Amray as the CEO of Union Bank effective June 2, 2022. He is a seasoned banker with well-rounded exposure of over 25 years in senior management roles and a proven track record of adaptability in six geographies (USA, Nigeria, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Pakistan) in the course of his career at Citibank and other foreign and local banks, according to a notice from the firm.

Prior to his latest appointment, he led the establishment of Titan Trust Bank Limited and subsequently became the bank’s pioneer CEO in October 2019.

Also, Union Bank has confirmed Mr Farouk Mohammed Gumel as its new Chairman. He is the Group Executive Director for TGI Group and also the Chairman of Wacot Rice Ltd, a subsidiary company of TGI Group, and non-executive chairman at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

Prior to joining TGI, Mr Gumel was a Partner at PwC and Head of the West African Advisory/Consulting business, covering Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Angola.

The two will be assisted on the board by Mr Andrew Ojei, a non-executive director; Mr Abubakar Mohammed, a non-executive director; and Mr Lawrence Mackombo, a non-executive director.

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