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Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Removes 2000 Trucks to Ease Traffic

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Apapa Gridlock: Lagos Removes 2000 Trucks to Ease Traffic

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The Joint Task Force set up by the Lagos State government involving security agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector to remove all containerized trucks and tankers parked along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway has opened up the service lane in the axis.

Speaking with reporters after inspecting the progress of the operation in company of heads of security agencies and other stakeholders, Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, said it was gratifying to report that the Task Force was able to free the road from Toyota to Mile 2 in a rigorous operation which lasted for 72 hours between Friday and Sunday.

Tagged ‘Operation Restore Sanity On Lagos Roads,’ the State Government had set up the Task Force involving 2,271 personnel drawn from the Police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and Nigerian Military including Army, Air Force and the Navy.

The operation also involved relevant unions within the maritime sector such as Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NATO), Road Trasnport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), among others.

He said to build on the gains so far recorded, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has already extended the operation of the Task Force for another 48 hours, while he would also host a meeting involving all the stakeholders in Alausa on Monday to come up with lasting solution to the menace.

He said: “Tomorrow, the Governor is engaging all the stakeholders further to his interventions through the palliative measures that the Lagos State Commissioner of Police CP Imohimi Edgal is implementing to come up with lasting solutions.

“The Governor will specifically be meeting with the Nigeria Ports Authority, Shippers Council, Tank Farm Owners, Department of Petroleum Resources, among others because that is where the problem is really emanating from.

“What we are doing now are just palliative measures and we have to solve the problem from the source. Even though this is not within the Governor’s jurisdiction but he is adopting a collaborative approach with these agencies of the Federal Government which are the root cause of the problem to look for a medium to long term solutions in support of the palliative measure that the Governor has started,” Mr Lawanson said.

Giving details on the operation, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Kehinde Bamigbetan said over 2000 articulated vehicles were removed from the road including Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue and Mile 2-Orile Road and taken to seven designated holding bays.

According to him, “Personnel for the operation were mustered at the State Headquarters of the Police, Ikeja at about 2200hours of 20/07/2018 where they were addressed by the Commissioner of Police, CP Imohimi Edgal.

“This was followed by their deployment to the locations for the evacuation of the petroleum tankers and flat belt trucks causing gridlock from the service lanes and the expressway to seven holding bays at Ijora, Isolo, Amowu-Odofin, Orile, Apapa and Ijesha with the help of two Goliaths deployed by LASEMA.”

He said though it was a common knowledge that the issues which gave rise to the chaos was mainly about breakdown of activities at the Ports and lack of holding bays by some tank farms and shipping lines operating in the axis, the State Government nonetheless was taking it upon itself to come up with palliative measures to free the road.

He said the State Government has also resolved to set up a Mobile Court within the axis to summarily deal with recalcitrant drivers of articulated vehicles who may want to draw back the recent gains recorded.

The State Commissioner of Police, Mr Edgal Imohimi, Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), Mr Hyginus Omeje, LASEMA General Manager, Mr Adeshina Tiamiyu, Heads of Military Formations in Lagos, among others were part of the inspection tour to assess the operation.

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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SweepSouth to Battle Fichaya, Others for Market Share in Nigeria

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SweepSouth

By Adedapo Adesanya

Johannesburg-based SweepSouth, the home cleaning service startup that was launched in 2014, is looking to hijack some customers from its competitors in Nigeria by offering quality services.

SweepSouth allows people to book home cleaning services at affordable prices and connects them with cleaners they call SweepStars, who are carefully vetted and are professionals with extensive experience in home cleaning.

Traditional domestic service agencies in Nigeria are mostly informal, and people who use these cleaners often have to find them by asking around their neighbourhood but the problem with this approach is that it is difficult to know if the cleaner is experienced.

Things are about to change as SweepSouth’s value proposition will help its customers find a cleaner in minutes and will deliver the best services.

The startup’s expansion in Nigeria is led by its new country manager, Ms Awazi Angbalaga, an operator who has worked across industries in the past eight years.

Ms Angbalaga noted that SweepSouth has been test-running its services in Nigeria for the last two months and that the uptake has been exciting.

“Although we’ve largely been testing out our service here, we have already had our first 300 bookings, and the feedback we’ve received backs our belief that our proposition is compelling to Nigerians. While we’re growing our bookings every week, our focus continues to be providing the best service to our customers,” she said.

At the moment, SweepSouth charges a base fee of N3,400 ($8) for cleaning a one-bedroom apartment and around N7,500 ($18) for cleaning a 3-bedroom apartment. The pricing is at par with what is obtainable with traditional domestic service agencies, which is important for a service which is aiming for mass-market adoption.

But SweepSouth will face competition from those traditional domestic service agencies and newer startups such as Fichaya which are now targeting Nigeria’s young working-class population.

Remote work and a growing class of young tech workers, who are willing to pay gig workers for services that make their lives easier, are powering the home services industry. Other startups in this space even offer home-cooked meals and laundry.

To break into the market, SweepSouth may also look to provide additional services such as its SweepSouth Connect, which links people with a wide range of professional artisans. SweepSouth Connect is already available in Kenya and South Africa.

The startup did not confirm if it will launch its Connect service in Nigeria but it stressed that for now, the focus is to reach mass adoption and provide exceptional service to customers.

At the moment, customers can only make bookings from the SweepSouth Nigeria website, but the startup shared that it will launch its app this month. The app will improve customer experience across the entire process from booking to leaving reviews for the SweepStars they’re matched with.

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Buhari Loses Suit to Challenge Electoral Act at Supreme Court

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Electoral Act 2022

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Supreme Court has struck out a suit filed by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Abubakar Malami, challenging Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act.

On Friday, the case was expunged on the grounds that it lacks the jurisdiction to entertain it and is an abuse of the court process.

A notice for the judgment delivery was served on President Buhari and the National Assembly on Thursday, inviting them to appear before the court today for the judgment.

The President and the Minister of Justice had filed a suit at the Supreme Court, seeking an interpretation of the controversial clause in the Electoral Amendment Act 2022.

In the suit filed on April 29, President Buhari and Mr Malami, who are the plaintiffs, listed the National Assembly as the sole defendant.

There have been several debates regarding Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act 2022 which was assented to in February.

Upon assenting to the act, President Buhari had asked the National Assembly to delete the contended clause, however, the parliament declined the president’s request.

Section 84 (12) of the legislation holds that “no political appointee at any level shall be a voting delegate or be voted for at the convention or congress of any political party for the purpose of the nomination of candidates for any election.”

In their suit marked SC/CV/504/2022 and filed on April 29, 2022, President Buhari and Mr Malami sought an order of the apex court to strike out the section of the Electoral Act, which they argue was inconsistent with the nation’s constitution.

According to the court document, the plaintiffs contend that the Section 84(12) of the Electoral (Amendment) Act, 2022 is inconsistent with the provisions of sections 42, 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), as well Article 2 of the African Charter on Human and People and Peoples Rights.

The plaintiffs further contended that the constitution already makes provisions for qualification and disqualification for the offices of the President and Vice President, Governor and Deputy Governor, Senate and House of Representatives, House of Assembly, Ministers, Commissioners, and Special Advisers.

They urged the Supreme Court to make: “A declaration that the joint and or combined reading of section 65, 66, 106, 107, 131, 137, 147, 151, 177, 182, 192 and 196 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, (as amended), the provision of Section 84 (12) of the Electoral Act, 2022 which also ignores Section 84(3) of the same Act, is an additional qualifying and/or disqualifying factors for the National Assembly, House of Assembly, Gubernatorial and Presidential elections as enshrined in the said constitution, hence unconstitutional, unlawful, null and void”.

However, in its decision on Friday, the Supreme Court held that President Buhari, having assented to the bill on February 25 2022, cannot turn around to challenge the same act.

In a unanimous judgement delivered by Justice Emmanuel Agim, the court said allowing the suit to have its way will amount to approbating and reprobating at the same time and no court of law shall allow that.

The apex court unanimously agreed that President Buhari lacked the jurisdiction to bring the suit before it because of the nature of the reliefs sought.

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London Police Arrest Ekweremadu, Wife Over Organ Harvesting

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organ harvesting Ekweremadu

By Adedapo Adesanya

The London Metropolitan Police has announced that it arrested a Nigerian national, Mr Ike Ekweremadu, and his wife, Mrs Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, for allegedly conspiring to bring a child to the United Kingdom for organ harvesting.

In a statement on its website, the Met Police wrote that “Beatrice Nwanneka Ekweremadu, 55 (10.9.66) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate the travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.

While the statement did not, however, give further details about the suspects, the age and description given match that of the former Deputy Senate President and his wife.

“Ike Ekweremadu, 60 (12.05.62) of Nigeria is charged with conspiracy to arrange/facilitate [the] travel of another person with a view to exploitation, namely organ harvesting.”

As at press time, neither Mr Ekweremadu nor his aides have issued a comment about the development.

But the police added that “both [have] been remanded in custody and will appear at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court later today.

“The investigation was launched after detectives were alerted to potential offences under modern slavery legislation in May 2022.

“A child has been safeguarded and we are working closely with partners on continued support. As criminal proceedings are now underway we will not be providing further details.”

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