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Bodija explosion: Makinde signs executive order on safe handling of harmful substances

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Following the explosion that rocked Ibadan some weeks ago leaving many displaced, the Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, has signed Executive Order 001 of 2024 on the safe handling of harmful substances.

While signing the order at the Governor’s Office, Secretariat, Agodi, Ibadan, Makinde said, “We are signing the Executive Order 001 of 2024, and this is on the safe-handling and storage of harmful substances within Oyo State.

“We are doing this in light of the unfortunate incident at Bodija, where explosives were stored in a residential area. So, dated today, 31st of January 2024, we have the Executive Order, which is now a law in the state.”

The event had in attendance the Deputy Governor, Barr. Bayo Lawal; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo; Chief of Staff, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi; and the Commissioner for Justice/Attorney-General, Barr. Biodun Aikomo.

Following the signing of the order, the governor and his entourage proceeded to Ground Zero, the site of the incident, where he monitored the progress of work.

Addressing newsmen at the site, the governor declared that there is now a law in place to guide the handling of harmful substances in the state, stressing that the state government is taking all necessary action to prevent a recurrence of the January 16 explosion in the state.

He said the structural integrity tests on buildings around the site had been concluded, adding that the state government would officially receive the report next week.

The governor revealed that on the medical side, most patients have already been discharged with only one person awaiting surgery.

The governor clarified that the incident was not a terrorist attack as some people were insinuating, noting that it occurred because some individuals stored explosives in a residential area.

He declared that with the Executive Order 001 on Safe Handling of Harmful Substances, a recurrence of such incidents would be prevented, as there would be zero tolerance for those who break the law.

Governor Makinde said, “We have scheduled an expanded meeting for Tuesday. After that meeting, we should be in the position to lay out what next step we are going to take to launch out.”

Also speaking with journalists, the Attorney-General maintained that the law is not necessarily about explosives, as that is on the exclusive legislative list, but that there are many other harmful substances.

He said, “If you store gas in a way that is irresponsible and can make heat trigger an explosion, it becomes harmful and would have the same dangerous consequences that are negative to human existence.

“So, what this Order has done is to say that the government, not being super-human, cannot know what people have stored in their respective homes. And it is to say, any company or individual that has harmful substances stored in residential houses should notify the state government.

“And this obligation takes effect immediately and they are required to report within 72 hours to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Security.

“After that, the Special Adviser will arrange for evacuation in a very safe and decent manner, working with other law enforcement agencies.

“Going forward, anybody who has harmful substances in Oyo State, it does not matter if you have a licence to hold it, you have a duty to notify the Special Adviser to the governor so that we are sure you are not endangering the lives of other people around you.And this will be on until the governor revokes the Executive Order.”

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Emirate crisis: FG will be held responsible for violence in Kano – Atiku

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Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has said that the President Bola Tinubu-led Federal Government would be held responsible if violence breaks out in Kano State over the emirate crisis.

Atiku said Tinubu’s government was inviting anarchy to Kano State by providing security for the deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero.

On Friday, Governor Abba Yusuf had deposed Bayero while reinstating Lamido Sanusi as the 15th Emir of Kano.

Posting on X, Atiku cautioned the federal government against destabilising Kano State.

According to Atiku: “The action of the Federal Government in deploying soldiers in Kano in the tussle over the throne of the ancient city is an upset to the peace and security of the state, and also in breach of the 1999 Constitution as Amended.

“The foregoing circumstances happened within the confines of the law and in compliance with the powers conferred on the governor as provided by Section 5(2) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and also in consultation with the kingmakers of Kano, reappointed Sanusi Lamido Sanusi (also known as Muhammadu Sanusi II) as the 16th Emir of Kano State and accordingly handed him a letter of appointment.

“It is surprising that in the early hours of today, exactly at about 5:30 am the former Emir of Kano, His Majesty Aminu Ado Bayero, backed by Federal might made their way into the Nasarawa Palace of the Kano Emirate while the reappointed Emir, Muhammadu Sanusi II was at the Gidan Dabo, which is the main residence of the Emir of Kano.

“In this wise, the former Emir could not have made his way into the Nasarawa Palace without the support of the Federal Government having done so with the support of the army and other security personnel in his company. The deployment of soldiers in extra constitutional matters such as this undermines the integrity of the Nigerian military.

“We need to remind the Tinubu administration that Kano State is known for peace and harmony spanning thousands of years and any attempt to destablise the peace of the Land of Commerce shall be resisted. Recall that Muhammadu Sanusi II was dethroned on 9th March, 2020: dethroned, Kano forged on in peace without any fracas.

“We wish to state unequivocally that if for any reason, law and order breaks down in Kano State, particularly Kano Municipal, the Federal Government should be held responsible as the act of providing security cover to the former Emir, Aminu Ado Bayero to come back to Kano is an invitation to anarchy.”

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Justice’ll prevail – Deposed Kano Emir Bayero breaks silence

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The deposed Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado-Bayero, has said justice will prevail over the issue surrounding the emirates in the state.

Bayero urged relevant authorities to ensure justice because nobody is above the law.

Governor Abba Yusuf of Kano State had dethroned Bayero as the 15th Emir of the state.

Speaking on Saturday, the deposed Emir urged residents to maintain law and order. He spoke at the mini-palace where he has since returned to after his dethronement.

According to Ado-Bayero: “I call on the people to remain law-abiding while awaiting the outcome of the legal process in this tussle.

“We call on the authority to do justice in this matter. Kano is a very influential state in Nigeria. Whatever affects Kano affects Nigeria. May peace reign in Kano. We pray for Allah to bless Kano with responsible and just leaders.

“Justice is the way to go on every issue. There will be justice. Nobody is above the law. We will accept whatever the law says. I appreciate all the people who have shown concern. As I said, justice will take its course. We will keep on praying for peace in Kano State. May Allah the Almighty protect us.”

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Nigerian airports most expensive globally – NAHCO

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Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc has set an N100 billion revenue target within the next five years.

The projection was made known by the Group chairman of the company, Dr Seinde Fadeni, at the sideline of its Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Saturday.

In achieving this, the company noted that it had concluded plans to diversify its investment portfolio to create new jobs and contribute significantly to resolving the country’s foreign exchange crisis.

NAHCO which was established in 1979, provides aviation cargo, aircraft handling, passenger facilitation, crew transportation, refuelling and aviation training services from its base at Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

According to Fadeni, the company is convinced that the food export holds significant potential for foreign exchange earnings because of its impact on the livelihoods and prosperity of Nigerians.

He said though the company is navigating safely around the myriad of challenges confronting the air transport space, he urged the government to look at ways to improve airport infrastructure and reduce the financial burden for airlines and passengers to keep pace with the future growth plan.

He said ” NAHCO believes that the government at the centre should work towards reducing the financial burden for airlines and passengers by reviewing applicable taxes. This way, more payees would be brought into the tax net. Not too long ago, the International Air Transport Association declared that Nigerian airports charge foreign airlines about 27 levies.

“This makes Nigerian airports the most expensive in the world, discouraging airlines from flying into the country. This is not the kind of laurel Nigeria should be proud of. It is a disincentive to investment for both active and prospective investors. The government should address this situation. Government should also heed the industry’s calls for the harmonisation of the regulatory environment, particularly at the ports in a way that aligns with global best practices. The nation’s Ease of Doing Business mantra should be in practice and not in theory only.”

He further said that though multiple cost-related challenges characterised 2023, the increased cost of handling an aircraft cannot be easily passed on to the airline by ground handling companies because any proposed rate hike would require the approval of the industry regulator – Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

He said, “The very act of getting new rates approved has its challenges as well. It is therefore not uncommon to see ticket prices rising geometrically while ground handling rates charged by service providers to airlines remain solidly stagnant.

“Our push towards birthing a global integrated logistic giant is taking good shape with the coming into operations of new subsidiaries.”

Also speaking, its Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Indranil Gupta said the company intends to diversify investment into other sectors of the economy to grow.

“We will continue to leverage our strength and market insights to pursue organic and strategic growth initiatives to expand our market presence and revenue streams

“We plan to comprehensively refresh our fleet of ground support equipment to replace ageing equipment and increase the numbers in our fleet to meet the ever-increasing customer needs and expectations.

“We are already embracing digitalisation and innovation, investing in cutting-edge technologies and solutions to enhance our service offerings, operational efficiency and competitiveness. By harnessing the power of data analytics, automation and predictive maintenance, we aim to stay ahead of the industry trends and deliver superior value to our clients ”

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