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Yearly Certification of Lagos Drivers Compulsory—LASDRI Boss

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By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Chief Executive Officer of Lagos State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI), Mr Phillip Ogunlade, has called on all professional drivers in Lagos to ensure that they are properly trained and recertified yearly by the State Drivers’ Institute (LASDRI).

Mr Ogunlade, while speaking on a Radio Lagos 107.5Fm programme, “A Wa Ye”, explained that the present administration was determined to enhance public safety by reducing accidents in the state.

The Chief Executive reiterated that the state law makes it mandatory for all professional drivers in Lagos to be trained and recertified once every year (for a fixed registration fee of N2,000 payable to designated banks), adding that a potential trainee is expected to be 18 years and above and must have a valid driver’s licence.

He, therefore, urged professional drivers to visit any LASDRI centre closest to them for their training and recertification noting that the centres are located in Ikeja, LSTC Yard Oshodi, Ikorodu, Epe, Badagry and Lagos Island.

He described professional drivers as all those who earn a living as drivers, either in the public or private sector.

According to him, “These set of drivers are required to be trained at the institute with the aim of exposing them to various driving techniques, using modern equipment, interactive lectures, traffic rules and regulations through the usage of simulators.”

On measures for the prevention of road accidents on the highways, the LASDRI boss advised that all drivers and vehicle owners must check their cars on a daily basis before going out for the day, stressing that adequate routine maintenance of vehicles is important to prevent sudden breakdown and congestion of traffic on roads.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Lagos to Shut Marine Bridge for Three Months

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Shut Marine Bridge

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Marine Bridge would be closed for three months for emergency repairs, the Lagos State government has disclosed.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, explained in a statement that the action was necessary to maintain the bridge infrastructure, which includes removal and cleaning of the existing expansion joints to prevent further deterioration.

He disclosed that the partial closure of the Marine Bridge, which affects the Apapa outward section, would take effect from Tuesday, March 9 to Monday, June 21, 2021.

The Commissioner urged vehicle owners plying the corridors to be patient and bear with the state government as the measures taken are aimed at providing quality and safe road infrastructure for everyone.

He explained that this appeal became necessary because, during the period of the partial closure, traffic would be diverted to alternative routes as the Apapa inward lane would be divided into two lanes to allow a counter flow of traffic.

However, he stated that to ameliorate the effect of the expected traffic impediment, palliative works have been completed on the alternative routes to ease movement, advising motorists inwards Apapa to make use of Total underneath the bridge to connect Naval Dockyard to Danlami to Leventis corridor and/or to connect Marine Beach by Mobil through Federal Fire Service/Obanikoro to Naggaf/North Avenue to Wharf Road.

Mr Oladeinde urged road users from Ajegunle inwards Iganmu/or Ijora to use Agbo Malu to Tego Barracks to Total, underneath the bridge and ascend Marine Bridge to connect their desired destinations.

The Commissioner assured that personnel of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) would be deployed to alternative routes to manage traffic encumbrances.

The closure of the Marine Bridge connecting Apapa to Lagos Island is coming barely two weeks after the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos was reopened by the federal government after it was shut last year for repairs.

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Lagos Unveils Taxi Scheme for Better Commuting

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Lagos Taxi Scheme

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Lagos State Government has signed an agreement for the establishment of a new motor assembly plant to commence full operation in a bid to boost the profile of transportation in the state.

This was disclosed at the commissioning of 1,000 taxi units under a new taxi scheme tagged Lagos Ride aimed to revitalise commuting experience on road transportation across Lagos metropolis.

The new development, which has a projected incubation period of 12 and 18 months for the maturity of the taxi scheme and the motor assembly Plant respectively, is a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement between CIG Motors Company Ltd and the Ibile Holdings Ltd, an agency of the state government.

Under the scheme, the drivers who will be the operators will be given branded GS3, GAC Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs) for a period of four years within which it is expected that on a monthly basis, they would have a check-up dues to effect payment in instalment within the stipulated period.

The state government noted that it will increase the capacity of the Taxi scheme from the initial 1,000 to about 5,000 to 7,500 units within a short period of time.

It was also gathered that to unveil a subsequent scheme with larger coverage which will make provision for large capacity intervention for small and mass transit buses.

Speaking at the event, the Governor of the state, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, noted that the project was an innovative policy of his administration in the bid to enhance the state’s vision of developing a multimodal transportation system and to strengthen the state’s economy

According to him, the effort is channelled according to the administration’s hope targeted at “making life a lot easier for Lagosians including mobility and creating a seamless multimodal transport system.”

“Remember again that in our THEMES Agenda, the first pillar is traffic management and transportation and we will continue to advocate and promise an integrated multimodal transportation system,” he said.

Further, he noted that the assembly plant upon completion will be productive in boosting the state’s economy while creating new channels of employment opportunities.

“It is, therefore, even more heartwarming to note that the Lagos State taxi scheme is being decorated along with the signing agreement of the establishment of a vehicle assembling plant in Lagos; a project that we believe will create jobs.

“We believe it will accelerate socio-economic growth and will further put our state on the global map as a centre of excellence and modern megacity that is committed to sustainable development.

“As a people-oriented government, we are constantly on our toes thinking of ways to make Lagos a lot more habitable and create opportunities for our residents and citizens and we are initiating and implementing ideas to make life better for more Lagosians and to achieve our dream of a greater Lagos,” he said.

Stating that his government is committed to making Lagos metropolis a major hub of a megacity status, Governor Sanwo-Olu stressed that having a world-class transportation system is significant according to the envisioning of the THEMES Agenda.

“We are working on the rails, waterways, and we will continue to work on road infrastructure. We are guided by the need for an equitable transportation system with choices for our citizens.

“So, this Taxi Scheme to be known as ‘Lagos Ride’ which is being commissioned today, is in fulfilment of our desire to give Lagosians a transportation choice.

“It is one of the Lagos State socio-economic intervention programme. The modern ride service will be professionally managed in line with the global best practice. The seed for this transaction is that we are doing the first 1,000 taxis which we will be handing over once they all arrive at all of our well-trained drivers.

“It is a social intervention programme that is tailored at ensuring that we can eradicate poverty, provide jobs opportunities for our citizens as well as provide basic necessities that they need to make life a lot more bearable.

“We believe that it is a partnership that would work. We believe that our citizens require this and we believe that the employment that we are creating and generating from this will be second to none.

“So, this scheme is a partnership with CIG motors who are also establishing a motor assembly plant here in Lagos for the production of different classes of vehicles.

“We believe that the establishment of the motor assembly plant is expected to revive industrialisation, increase citizens employment and create wealth for us. It will certainly boost tourism, encourage technology sharing and adaptation, and advancement among our citizens,” he said.

According to him, this will ensure that such vehicle production and taxi system are such that are competitive with the best global standards.

“This is our very modest intervention to recreate the Lagos of our dream and bring it to fruition,” he added.

According to the state’s Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Frederick Oladeinde, the scheme, which is a form of social intervention programme operated by a private entity, will produce benefits that will significantly boost the profile of socio-economic and technological activities in the Lagos metropolis.

In her remark, the Chairman, CIG Motors Company Ltd, Mrs Diana Chen, described the new development as a product of a business tour of China by Governor Sanwo-Olu in 2019.

Assuring full commitment to make the partnership agreement an enviable venture to the benefit of the State, she disclosed that the Group is going to sponsor about 50 students who are interested in engineering training for two years in one of the best vocational school in China.

“This is further to Mr Governor’s trip to China in November 2019 which was a fruitful official business trip where numerous big projects and partnership cooperations were further strengthened and forged.

“Proudly, I can say that today’s ceremony on GAC Motors assembly plant and Lagos Taxi Scheme are amongst Mr Governor’s China Trip output and delivery.

“It is important, to show the commitment towards the creation of the Sister State relationship between Lagos State and Guangdong Province.

“We, the Choice International Group (CIG), as the facilitator, will repay you back with our full commitment and delivery on what we signed today. My teams are ready to work with 100% per cent effort to build GAC Motors in Nigeria at the highest level of a brand.

“This international JV project, I believe will also soon bloom up in the Chinese business communities both in Nigeria and China. I can assure you, we will use it as the best example case to introduce and promote a “Greater Lagos and Greater Opportunities.

“Your excellency, your wise decision to partner with us to set up a world-class Assembly plant, definitely is the right decision and a good investment, for both the government and the consumers in Nigeria. Because our mission is the same: let more Nigerians afford a brand new car with trusted quality and enjoyment of driving,” Mrs Chen said.

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Sanwo-Olu Dares Powerful People Behind Apapa Gridlock

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Apapa gridlock

By Ahmed Rahma

The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has threatened to publicly mention the names of prominent individuals behind the gridlock situation in Apapa and the environs.

According to a statement on Wednesday, the Governor will do anything to fight the people trying to bring back the old situation in Apapa.

“We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract and take us back to where we are coming from on the gridlock on Apapa; we will do everything that we can to fight those people.

“We will name and shame them, we will bring out their names, be it a corporate organisation, company, police officer; they will go and answer to the citizens of Nigeria and Lagos. We will bring them to the public court for them to see that we are serious,” he said quoted as saying in the statement.

Recall that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) had Saturday inaugurated a new call-up system designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports, and bring about traffic improvement along the corridor.

However, contrary to expectation on the free flow of traffic following the commencement of the electronic call-up system for port operations, the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway had been on a total lockdown as fuel tankers and containerised vehicles parked indiscriminately along the road.

In the statement, Mr Sanwo-Olu appealed to those who are yet to sign up for the call-up system to urgently do so as his government was determined to bring succour to residents of the state.

“We cannot condone the recklessness and carelessness that our citizens have gone through.

“My appeal is to others who have not signed on to this call-up system that we have embarked upon to do so,” he said.

The Governor was also quoted in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, as saying that the new electronic call-up system would bring lasting solutions to the gridlock on the Apapa corridor.

“What we are seeing is the beginning of the lasting solution we have brought to Apapa. Our appeal is that we are not out of the problem completely yet. Our citizens can now see that a journey that took them three hours can, indeed, take between 15 and 20 minutes to commute.

“We have taken some troublesome people that are benefiting from the gridlock out of the way. Whatever they were earning illegally has been taken away from them.

“We know they will want to attempt to fight back. We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract the progress or wants to take us back to gridlock in Apapa will be fought against,” he said.

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Traffic Violation: LASTMA to Acquire Body Cameras for Officials

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female LASTMA fight Adepeju Odunlami

By Ahmed Rahma

The General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Olajide Oduyoye, has stated that the agency will employ body camera technology as part of measures to ensure offenders are apprehended with solid evidence.

The traffic control officer said this while appearing as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

He said Governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu was working towards helping the agency acquire the necessary technologies to checkmate traffic offence within the metropolis.

“This year, we are definitely hoping to start in the next few weeks what you will say are non-approachable offence dealings. That means we are going to be having body cameras on officers to capture incidences because things happen so fast and you can’t really say let me get my camera.

“But if you have your body camera on that is recording, then you can capture all sorts of different things that you can use against offenders,” Mr Oduyoye stated.

He also disclosed that some persons who violate rules often remove traffic signs to deliberately disobey road laws.

“Those who willfully disobey traffic signs go in the middle of the night to remove those signs. When they are caught, they will say that there were no signs. They go and remove the signs to prove they aren’t aware of the signs. This happens all the time,” said the LASTMA GM.

He cautioned road users in Lagos to obey traffic laws and accept the consequences of their actions if they are apprehended for flouting the rules of the road.

Earlier on the show, reacting to a viral video that made rounds on Thursday, showing a sports utility vehicle tipping a police officer off a bridge into a canal while trying to escape arrest, the GM revealed that the driver, Mr Sunday Okodo, has been charged to court with two counts of attempted murder and traffic violation.

The LASTMA boss said the police inspector identified as Mr David Zapaina, has been discharged from the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“He is alive and he has been discharged from the hospital but it is more like he needs to seek more local intervention to reset his bones,” he noted.

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A Day in the Life of a Jumia Delivery Agent

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Jumia Delivery Agent

E-commerce platforms are meeting the disruptive and dynamic needs of customers with distribution networks that ensure products are delivered at different locations and doorsteps with ease and speed.

A crucial link in the chain is the services of delivery associates/agents who beat hurdles to ensure customer expectations are duly met.

The travails of these associates are mostly lost on customers who after placing their orders are expectant of package delivery within the allotted time.

Micheal Eze, a delivery associate at Jumia, gave snippets into what an average delivery agent has to overcome to get that product at the right location and at the right time.

Eze begins his day at the last mile hub where he receives all the planned deliveries for the day. Despite his experience and familiarity with several routes, some orders take him to uncharted axis and territories.

“I have to rely on the Jumia delivery app to guide me through deliveries to each customer,” the van dispatcher explained.

”The job comes with its challenges. For instance, at a customer’s point of delivery, a customer tells you he or she has cancelled (the order). Also, customers’ delivery time clashes; a customer is telling you to come by 2pm and another is also telling you to come by 2pm,” he added.

With no possible way of being in different places at a time, agents like Eze deploy persuasive communications skills to manage the expectations of their customers. Coupled with the need to navigate traffic rigour in a state like Lagos, they eventually find a way to deliver happiness to all their customers at their most convenient time.

For Eze, he derives satisfaction when he’s able to deliver packages to his customers after all the troubles. He also finds a way to manage stress and cool off the pressure of the day’s work before heading home.

“As a delivery associate, I find it exciting delivering happiness to my customers. My day ends when I’ve been able to deliver most of my packages and I go to my favourite bar to refresh before heading home to my family,” he enthused.

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Unemployed Niger Delta Youths to Undergo Training at Innoson Motors

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Innoson Motors

By Ahmed Rahma

Some unemployed youths in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria will undergo training at the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing (IVM) Company in Nnewi, Anambra State.

The training is being sponsored by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and it is aimed to involve the youths in productive activities instead of militancy.

The Interim Administrator of the NDDC, Mr Efiong Akwa, explained that the indigent Niger Delta youths would receive technical skills at the company.

Speaking after inspecting facilities at Innoson’s factory, according to a statement issued by the commission’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr Ibitoye Abosede, the agency’s chief said the idea of his programme is to set up a vehicle manufacturing plant in the Niger Delta in the near future.

Mr Akwa, who was represented by his Special Adviser on Youths, Mr Udengs Eradiri, said that the training would commence at Innoson Kiara Academy, a technical and vocational institution, affiliated with Innoson.

“The youth will be trained in fabrication, assembly, painting and corrosion control, among others.

“We thought that due to the growing economy of the Niger Delta, it is important to begin to grow our own skills to be better and able to manage our economy.

“Though NDDC is already in partnership with Innoson on the training of youths in different aspects of automobile maintenance, this visit is to firm up the partnership,” he said.

He stated that the Presidential Amnesty Programme had trained several youths from the region in the facility, with good results.

”So, we are aware that the training facility teaches skills, altitude and entrepreneurship.

”We know that if the youth learn one skill or the other, they should be able to translate it into financial gains,” he said.

Also speaking, Innoson’s Kiara Academy Chief Executive Officer, Mr Endi Ezengwa, thanked the commission for considering the facilities at Innoson motors for the training.

According to him, the region is blessed with so much talent that needed to be harnessed and channelled into constructive use, for the industrialisation of the Niger Delta zone.

”Innoson Group will, in due course, set up workshops in the Niger Delta zone, in collaboration with organisations like NDDC,” he assured.

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