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Yuletide: FG Gives Nigerians Free Train Rides to January 4

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By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has declared free train rides for citizens from December 24, 2021, to January 4, 2022, as part of Yuletide celebrations.

This was disclosed by the Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation, Mr Fidet Okhiria, who was quoted by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday as saying that, ”The decision which was made in collaboration with the Ministry of Transportation, is to ease movement of citizens during the yuletide.”

”This is to help ease the cost of transportation and enable citizens to move easily enjoy the festive period.

”Passengers are, however, advised to ensure they obtain their tickets from appropriate quarters at no cost, to enable them to gain access and enter the trains.

”All passengers are also enjoined to observe and obey COVID-19 rules by wearing of face mask, washing and sanitising of hands,” the MD stated.

He also reiterated the federal government’s commitment to ensuring the safety of passengers and trains during the period.

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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Bolt Strengthens Commitment to Safety With Bella

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

A new archetype character aimed to improve customer experience and demonstrate its commitment to the safety of drivers and passengers has been introduced by an e-hailing platform, Bolt.

The new persona called Bella is in fulfilment of the company’s promise to ease mobility in Nigeria and provide a better experience and safer journeys for its growing community of friends.

Bella replaces the old character called Uche and it underscores the company’s companionship and willingness to introduce new features which enhance convenience on Bolt.

This transition is coming after the platform recently launched a dedicated safety website (safety.bolt.eu/ng) to improve customer experience.

“Since our launch in Nigeria, Uche has built a community of friends with Bolt riders and drivers. We want to build on Uche’s community and goodwill with a new persona who would remain committed to all our users.

“Therefore, we have introduced Bella and our dedicated safety website. We are excited about this new phase because it means a better experience and safer journeys for our growing community of friends,” Bolt said in a statement.

Bolt said its safety features are consistently updated to ensure that all parties remain safe before, during, and after a trip.

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Oyo to Register Commercial Motorcycle Riders, Capture Fingerprints, Others

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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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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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