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Daily Archives: November 5, 2019

LASTMA announces partial closure of Apongbon road inward Eko bridge

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has announced partial closure of some sections of Apongbon road inward Eko Bridge from Thursday.

The agency said the advisory is necessary as construction work will be carried out around the route.

“There will be road repair and resurfacing of some sections of Apongbon road inwards Eko Bridge from Thursday, November 7,” the advisory read.

“Therefore, motorists are advised to make use of the following routes to ease congestion and improve travel time.”

According to it, motorists from Marina Bridge should take UBA roundabout to Elegbata and connect Eko Bridge through Ejalonibu ramp.

It said that motorists from Ebute-Ero to Ebute-Ero Police Post can connect Idumota to Ijora Olopa by LAWMA Office and link Eko Bridge.

The travel advisory urged motorists to use Carter Bridge to Iddo- Oyingbo – Herbert Macaulay to Jibowu to Ikorodu Road or Empire to Moshalasi to Surulere/or Mushin.

According to it, motorists from Ahmadu Bello Way/Ozumba Mbadiwe Road can use Onikan to underpass opposite Muson Centre to Obalende Bridge and connect 3rd Mainland Bridge.

The statement added that motorists could also use Obalende bridge to Ilubirin and connect Ebute-Ero (make a right turn before Adeniji-Adele interchange) to Carter Bridge to Ijora- Olopa by LAWMA Office to Eko Bridge.

It said that motorists could also use Carter Bridge to Oyingbo to Herbert Macaulay to Adekunle to 3rd Mainland Bridge as well as Herbert Macaulay to Jibowu to Ikorodu Road or Empire to Moshalasi to Surulere / or Mushin.

LASTMA assured that traffic management will be deployed to strategic points and alternative routes.

Nnamdi Kanu finally reveals how he escaped from Nigeria

Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, has finally explained how he managed to escape when military personnel on “Operation Python Dance II” stormed his Afaraukwu, Umuahia residence in Abia state.

Kanu said they managed to get to Azumiri in the coastal area of Abia State from where he found his way to the Republic of Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast before landing in Senegal

The IPOB leader said it took him over a year before he found his way into Israel after escaping Nigeria, describing it as the toughest moment of his life.

He said he sustained serious injuries during the attack.

Kanu said he moved through the creeks before he eventually found himself in the Republic of Benin.

“We were able to rent a boat on the coast. We left from a small town in Abia, Azumiri, an unobtrusive place where the Nigerian authorities might not have thought to look,” Kanu was quoted by Sun.

“We planned to go to the Republic of Benin, just west of Nigeria. For 14 days we travelled in dangerous seas in a small boat with an outboard motor.

“The Atlantic off that coast is heavy, stormy, and treacherous; on more than one occasion waves threatened to swamp our little craft.

“I was still gravely injured and in need of constant medical attention. At one point we put ashore to find ice to keep the medication I needed chilled. It was a dangerous time. I stayed hidden in a room while my companions went foraging for supplies.

“From Benin, I travelled by road to Senegal, a distance of nearly 2,000 kilometres. Once in Senegal I was able to make arrangements to travel to Israel. None of these journeys was easy.

“I was still in pain and the threat from Nigerian agents abroad never went away. When we stopped to rest on the road, I couldn’t go out.

“My world was shrunk to a room with a window, and sometimes not even that. I might as well have been in prison.

“Benin, Togo, Ghana, Ivory Coast, all the countries I had to pass through rely economically on Nigeria, their governments corrupt enough to arrest me and send me back. I had to stay silent, unknown.

“I couldn’t even tell my wife or family where I was, just in case they became targets. It was agonising to realise that they didn’t know if I was dead or alive.

“Israel was a haven for me, but it took over a year to get there, and only then did I feel confident enough to let my fellow IPOB family members and immediate family know I was safe.”

 

Buhari has resolved to curb medical tourism, says minister

Dr Olororunnimbe Mamora, Minister of State for Health, says President Muhammadu Buhari has resolved to curb medical tourism.

NAN reports that Mamora spoke on Monday in Abuja when a team from CPL Medical Group Limited, a local engineering company engaged in the rehabilitation of teaching hospitals in the country, paid him a visit.

In 2017, Buhari spent about three months in London on medical vacation. And he has made frequent trips to the UK on ”private visits” believed to be for medical reasons

In August, the president said the country loses about N400 billion to medical tourism annually.

The minister said hospital environment and bad attitude of workers are largely responsible for medical tourism in the country.

“President Mohammadu Buhari has resolved to curb medical tourism by supporting initiatives from individuals and groups,” Mamora said.

“We are focused on improving working conditions in the hospitals because medical tourism is not necessarily an outcome of lack of medical equipment. It encompasses factors like lack of conducive hospital environment and poor attitude of health workers towards health care delivery.”

He assured Nigerians that the federal government was working towards entrenching the right standards in terms of attitudinal change and procurement of equipment.

He said the responsibility of the health ministry is to formulate government policies on health while implementation involved relevant stakeholders, so that the sector could move to the next level.

He expressed delight at the progress reported by the team in the implementation of the various stages of engagement with the presidency, adding that government is partnering the Infrastructure Regulatory Commission to ensure best practices in healthcare delivery.

Earlier, Albert Awofisayo, chairman of CPL, gave an update on the status of the third phase of the federal government and the group’s partnership on the special presidential intervention project to advance the tertiary health sector in the country.

The chairman solicited government’s support towards the successful implementation of the rehabilitation of the 22 federal university teaching hospitals.

He said the group also planned to construct a green-field 500-bed ‘Federal Centre of Medical Excellence’ in Abuja with the collaboration of Mayo Clinic, Rochester, USA.

“We are partnering with major hospitals across five continents for the health outfit which will be called Mayo clinics,” he said.

He appealed that the project be considered as strategic by the administration of the president.

He pledged that the standard of services to be provided by the proposed 500-bed centre would be of “best global standard”.

Interim committee now void with new NDDC board, says Lawan

Senate President Ahmad Lawan says the current management of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is void with the confirmation of the appointment of members of the agency’s board.

An interim committee set up by Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs, currently manages the commission. The minister said the committee will run the NDDC for six months and oversee the forensic audit of the agency.

”With the completion of this process now (confirmation), I am sure that any other structure that exists now (in NDDC) is vitiated,” Lawan said while commenting on the confirmation of the nominees.

”I don’t think we have anything to worry about because this is one thing that is clearly established by law.”

On Tuesday, the senate confirmed the appointment of 15 nominees to the board of the NDDC.

In August, governors of Niger Delta states rejected the NDDC board nominees appointed by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The senate confirmed them after Peter Nwoboshi, chairman of the NDDC committee, presented a report to the chamber.

While presenting his report on the floor of the upper legislative chamber, Nwoboshi said all the nominees are ”eminently qualified” to be on the board.

“All the nominees were screened and the outcome contained in the report,” the lawmaker said.

“The committee finds that the qualifications of the nominees will impact the commission positively.”

But he said Joy Yimebe Nunieh, a nominee from Rivers state and interim managing director, did not show up for the screening exercise.

Commenting on the development, Enyinnaya Abaribe, senate minority leader, said that since Nunieh did not appear for screening, her appointment should not be confirmed.

Also speaking, Ike Ekweremadu, a former deputy president of the senate, said an interim committee should have not been set up in the first place.

Thereafter, the nominations were confirmed by a voice vote.

The nominees are Pius Odubu, chairman NDDC board; Bernard Okumagba, managing director; Otobong Ndem, executive director, projects; Maxwell Okoh, executive director, finance and administration; Jones Erue (Delta), Victor Ekhatar (Edo), Nwogu Nwogu (Abia), Theodore Allison (Bayelsa),Victor Antai (Akwa Ibom) and Maurice Effiwatt (Cross River).

Other nominees are Olugbenga Elema (Ondo), Uchegbu Kyrian (Imo), Aisha Muhammed (north-west representative), Ardo Zubairu (north-east representative) and Badmus Mutalib (north-central representative).

FG withdraws fraud charges against Pinnick

A federal high court in Abuja has discharged Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) of charges bordering on fraud to the tune of $8.4 million and N4 billion.

Sunusi Mohammed, NFF secretary; Seyi Akinwumi, the 1st vice president; Shehu Dikko, the 2nd vice president and Yusuff Fresh, an executive member, were also discharged of similar offences by the court.

The defendants were never arraigned.

At the court session on Tuesday, counsel representing the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) applied to withdraw the charges.

The AGF took over the case from the office of the Special Presidential Investigation Panel on Recovery of Public Property (SPIP) which originally instituted the case against the defendants.

The AGF said he found out that there was no basis for the charges filed against Pinnick and other executive members of the NFF.

Making his submission, Mohammed Katu, counsel to the defendants, said: “we asked that since the prosecution has applied to withdraw the charges, the defendants should be acquitted.”

Consequently, Ijeoma Ojukwu, the judge, ruled in favour of the defendants and discharged them.

Buhari appoints ex-CBN boss, Sarah Alade special adviser on finance and economy

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the appointment of Dr (Mrs) Sarah Omotunde Alade, as Special Adviser to the President on Finance and the Economy, domiciled in the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Dr. Alade, who holds BSc (Economics) and PhD in Management Science (Operations Research), retired from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as Deputy Governor in 2017 after spending 23 years in the apex bank.

She had also acted briefly in 2014 as the CBN Governor.