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Apapa gridlock: Presidential Task force on Port Decongestion hands over to Lagos Govt

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The Presidential Task Team on the Apapa gridlock has hand over the road traffic management duties to the Lagos State Government.

This is contained in a statement by Mr Kayode Opeifa, the Executive Vice Chairman of the task team, on Tuesday in Abuja.

Reports state that due to complaints by commuters around the Apapa port corridor, President Muhammadu Buhari, on April 25, 2019, inaugurated the task team chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.

Opeifa was the executive vice chairman in charge of day-to-day operations of the team.

The team also had representatives of the Inspector-General of Police; Lagos State Government; Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC; Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC and Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC.

Others were Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, FMWH; Dry Cargo Truckers; Wet Cargo Truckers; Apapa residents and Local Government; the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG; and Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, PTD.

Speaking on the completion of the team’s task, Opeifa said that the team handed over the traffic management of the road to the Lagos state government after it completed its duties.

“After weeks of careful planning, I am pleased to announce that the presidential task team charged with the responsibility of the restoration of Law and Order on Lagos roads, leading to Apapa and around Lagos Port and Maritime Logistics Corridor, has successfully handed over its activities to the Lagos State Government to be supported by the Lagos State Police Command.

“Following the restoration of relative normalcy on the axis with a massive reduction in congestion and traffic, the task team completed its task and decided to withdraw on October 7, 2020,’’ he said.

Opeifa said that a report of the activities of the team was presented to the Presidency on Oct. 7 2020 at a meeting chaired by the vice president.

He said that those and in attendance were the `Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi; the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola; the Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, retired Col Hameed Ali and Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman.

According to him, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr Hassan Bello, FRSC Corp Marshal, Dr Boboye Oyeyemi and the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President Mr. Ade Ipaye, also attended the meeting.

He said that the handover process began on Nov. 8, 2020 and was completed on Dec. 29, 2020.

Opeifa listed the achievement of the team.

Restoration of law and order on all roads leading to the Lagos Ports and within the Lagos Port Maritime logistic Corridor, removal of all stationary trucks on Lagos roads leading to the Ports

Development and deployment of an efficient and effective Traffic management plan for the entire port area traffic (including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic).

“Traffic Management Direction as contained in the Presidential Task Team’s Operational Order, Guidelines and Modus Operandi which incorporates Port Operations, Incident Rescue Management, Truck Throughout and Park Management and Special Purpose Apapa Port Area Traffic Management with strict enforcement protocols.

“The current operating system backed by appropriate enforcement has the capacity to clean up any congestion within two to six hours with the cooperation of major stakeholders and an effective incidence and recovery management system by LASTMA,’’ he said.

He said that other achievements include the “development and deployment of a Manual Call Up system pending the introduction of an electronic system by the NPA.”

Opeifa said that the “system incorporated into the Traffic management plan, envisaged trucks are called from Nominated Parks into Transit Parks (Lilypond and Tincan Island Transit Truck Parks) for call up into the Ports.”

“Working with NPA and the NSC, the team developed and deployed a workable Empty Container Return Handling Policy to handle empty containers and a reduction in the cost of Port Cargo Haulage from the Ports to different parts of the country.’’ Opeifa added.

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Double taxation: Ogun govt. moves to harmonise taxes, levies

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Ogun Government says it is working round the clock to ensure harmonisation of taxes and levies to reduce incidence of double taxation that may affect the revenue base of businesses in the state.

Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Adebola Sofela, said this during a visit to the Managing Director of Nestle Nigeria, Mr Wassim Elhusseini, on Friday.

Sofela said that his visit was occasioned by the need to boost the existing relationship between the state government and its various stakeholders and to further collaborate and share ideas on areas of common interest.

He expressed the Gov. Dapo Abiodun-led administration’s commitment to capacity building at all levels.

As a practical demonstration of this, the commissioner said that that technical schools across the state were being upgraded to ensure companies that did not have any gap in power to fill the technical needs.

Sofela, who was accompanied by top management staff members of the ministry, stated that the present administration had improved land administration system to enable investors get title documents without delay in order to leverage for financing.

He said that government had been creating new industrial clusters to take care of the new influx of investors and prepare for the future.

The commissioner appealed to the various companies across the three senatorial districts to consider the qualified residents of the state for employment, as part of efforts to promote their relationship with host communities.

“We are working to ensure harmonisation of taxes and levies to reduce the incidence of double taxation.

“The governor is particularly interested in creating an enabling environment for business to thrive, considering government’s huge investments in security and infrastructure,” he said.

In his remarks, the Managing Director of the firm, said that 80 per cent of his company’s investments were domiciled in Ogun.

According to Elhusseini, the state government is in the right direction with its business-friendly policies.

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Reps committee to probes appointments of NASRDA, RMRDC DGs

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The House of Representatives on Friday unveiled plans to investigate the appointments of Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Prof. Martins Ike-Muonso.

The committee will also investigate the appointment of the Director-General of National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Dr Mathew Adepoju.

This is contained in a statement issued by the Chairman of the committee, Rep. Olaide .

The committee chairman said that a six-member panel headed by Rep. Abiodun Akinlade had been inaugurated to carry out the probe.

He said both DGs were recently appointed by the Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnanji.

“The panel is to look at the procedure of the appointments qualification and the compliance with the relevant laws and regulations that established both agencies.

“The panel is to invite the Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, the Secretary to the Federal Government, Head of Service and both DGs amongst others.

“The panel has two weeks to within which to submit its report,” he said.

The chairman promised that the assignment will be free and fair saying that the aim is not to witch hunt anyone but to put the records straight.

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Tinubu to observe Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos

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President Bola Tinubu will depart Abuja for Lagos state on Friday ahead of the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

This is contained in a statement by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, in Abuja.

The statement said the President would observe Eid-el-Kabir in Lagos, where he would also spend the Sallah holidays.

“The President will mark the occasion in prayers and reflection on advancing the transformation of Nigeria in line with his Renewed Hope Agenda,” said the statement.

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